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June 23, 1999
Hughes Escorts bags bank network jobHughes Escorts Communications, a large provider of VSAT services in India, has been chosen by the Reserve Bank of India to set up a nationwide communications backbone based on VSATs to interconnect over 60,000 branches of public sector banks.
This initiative is expected to create the largest such connected banking network in the world.
The RBI, in order to galvanise the fragmented financial resources of the Indian banking sector, assigned an autonomous body, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, to conceptualise the VSAT based network.
Previously, PSU banks conducted business through terrestrial media network called BankNet. The switch to Indian Financial Network, the name for the dedicated VSAT based banking backbone, will now result in higher levels of security, high uptime and consistency in providing global levels of service to PSU bank customers.
Shashi Ullal, managing director, HECL, says, "The lifeblood of a progressive nation is its economy and financial muscle. This network will greatly improve the Indian Banking Industry by making available to the PSU banks the flexibility provided by satellite communications. This will result in achieving greater stability and growth of the banking network in the country. For the average Indian customer having access predominantly to only PSU banks, the network would revolutionise the Indian banking industry. We are extremely proud to have been chosen as the communication partner in this significant initiative launched by the RBI."
INFINET will facilitate a wide scope of banking activities including better money management, both intra-bank and inter-bank, faster cheque clearing, quicker electronic fund transfers between member banks and their customers, real time settlement of accounts between the PSU banks and the RBI, close monitoring of cash reserves through inter and intra-bank reconciliation, dynamic fund management through integration of the money and security markets across India and the ability to provide retail banking services like automatic teller machines.
Dr V P Gulati, director IBRAT, says "It is important to recognise that the payments system in the country has to be modernised on par with the systems prevalent in other developed countries, as our domestic financial markets are increasingly getting integrated with markets abroad. Our systems have to be cost effective and should ensure that risks in transactions. Are eliminated or at least minimal. The introduction of INFINET will facilitate a great deal of interconnectivity and improve the flow of all financial services associated with the payments and settlements systems on real time basis."
At present, HECL has signed contracts with 26 banks and the RBI for supply of 439 VSATs. This is expected to grow to a population of 5,000 VSATs in the future.
HECL is a joint venture between Hughes Network Systems, USA, the world's largest VSAT equipment manufacturer and Escorts Limited.
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