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The financial sector regulating arm of the Ethiopian government, the National bank of Ethiopia (NBE), awarded a core banking solution project to an Indian financial technology firm, Polaris Financial Technology Limited. The project costs more than USD 3.6 million and is scheduled to be completed within nine months.
The project will serve as a platform to integrate the financial systems of country including the National Payment, Human Resource, Procurement, and the SWIFT Systems with all the banks in the country and the counting, sorting and shredding machines of NBE and the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, according to Gizaw Tulu, the core banking project manager of NBE.
Experts from national Information Network Security Agency (INSA) and NBE have participated in the preparing the bid document. INSA’s experts will also consult NBE throughout the project implementation period.
Though 17 bidders bought the bid document, only three companies submitted it. One of the three was disqualified while Polaris and Teimenos were shortlisted as finalists.
Core Banking Solutions (CBS):
The advancement in technology, especially Internet and information technology has led to new ways of doing business in banking. These technologies have cut down time, working simultaneously on different issues and increasing efficiency. The platform where communication technology and information technology are merged to suit core needs of banking is known as core banking solutions according to Wikipedia. Here, computer software is developed to perform core operations of banking like recording of transactions, passbook maintenance, calculate interest on loans and deposits, customer records, balance of payments and withdrawal. This software is installed at different branches of bank and then interconnected by means of communication lines like telephones, satellite, and internet. It allows the users to operate accounts from any branch that has installed core banking solutions. This new platform has changed the way banks are working.
Core Banking (CB):
CB is defined as a back-end system that processes daily banking transactions, and posts updates to accounts and other financial records. It typically includes deposit, loan and credit-processing capabilities, with interfaces to general ledger systems and reporting tools. Strategic spending on these systems is based on a combination of service-oriented architecture and supporting technologies that create extensible, agile architectures according to the same source.
Nowadays, most banks use core banking applications to support their operations where the word core stands for “centralized, online and real-time environment”. This basically means that the entire bank’s branches access applications from centralized datacenters. This means the deposits made are reflected immediately on the bank’s servers and the customer can withdraw the deposited money from any of the bank’s branches throughout the world.
A few decades ago it used to take at least a day for a transaction to reflect in the account because each branch had their local servers, and the data from the server in each branch was sent in a batch to the servers in the datacenter only at the end of the day.
Normal core banking functions will include deposit accounts, loans, mortgages and payments. Banks make these services available across multiple channels like Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Internet banking, and branches.