Mumbai: Punjab National Bank, India (PNB) and Everest Bank Ltd. (EBL), Nepal have recently agreed to share their ATMs network for their cardholders on either side of the border. Chennai-based Financial Software and Systems (P) Ltd. (FSS), a leader in the electronic payment systems and services arena, has provided the cross-country ATM sharing solution through its FSSNeT, the outsourcing division of FSS.
This is the first time in India, that an Indian bank would use domestic network for transaction sharing with a foreign bank and an important customer service facility for PNB, which has around 870 ATMs.
In Nepal, EBL has outsourced its ATM transaction processing services to Smart Choice Technology (SCT). FSSNeT has tied up with SCT, and has established a data communication network connecting the two networks. Thus both banks' cardholders can avail of ATM services amongst both banks' ATMs.
PNB would be the settlement bank, to whom FSS would provide settlement reports, with appropriate currency conversion. With FSSNet tying up with SCT, PNB now has opportunities to tie up with other Nepali banks in SCT's network for ATM sharing.
"For the first time in the history of payment systems in India, two banks across two countries are connecting to each other through domestic networks, bypassing the need to go through international interchanges, resulting in lower cost of services for both banks and their customers,: says Nagaraj Mylandla, managing director, FSS. We believe this would pave the way forward for enabling transaction sharing services amongst neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Middle East countries"
According to K S Bajwa, general manager, Punjab National Bank, says " Our bank's tie up with Everest Bank Ltd for ATM sharing is an important milestone in our Retail Banking initiatives, besides improvement in the cross border payment and settlement mechanisms between India and Nepal. Our Customers would now have ready access to their accounts on any of Everest Bank's ATM in Nepal and vice versa, at relatively low transaction cost. This being our first bilateral cross border ATM sharing arrangement, we look forward to tying up with various leading banks in our neighbouring countries."
Punjab National Bank is India's largest nationalised bank (State Bank Of India is owned jointly by the Reserve Bank and the government of India and ence, has never been nationalised) in techno-banking.
Earlier in 2001, FSS had implemented the BASE24 'switch' solution for PNB providing online ATM facility. For FSS this also heralds an opportunity to help Indian bank networks in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Middle East to offer a cost effective solution for transaction sharing with their counter parts in these countries.
FSS is a leading player in online payment systems and services, providing online, real-time, electronic transaction processing and switching for financial and non-financial transactions across multiple delivery channels and payment systems and co-networks. FSSNeT, the outsourcing wing of FSS, provides switching, authorization, and back office services to over 22 major banks and financial institutions in India. FSSNeT services include ATM and POS deployment and management, ATM sharing amongst banks, international and domestic interchanges connectivity, Mobile Topups and electronic bill payment and shared payment gateway.