ATM services provider, Financial Software and Systems would float a domestic payments gateway for a group of 22 banks, including State Bank of India. FSS has already invested about $14 million for its payment gateway initiatives.
Through the payments gateway, FSS will manage the settlement of domestic transactions carried out by the customers of the 22 banks.
Apart from SBI, the other banks in the deal include Andhra Bank, Central Bank of India, Cosmos Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, UCO Bank, UTI Bank and Vijaya Bank. One of these banks will be the settlement bank for the payments gateway.
FSS has already set up a managed services centre called FSSNet in Mumbai to combine the payment verticals of ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, value-added services and help desk.
With regard to ATM networks, FSS has decided to have one common service platform for all its 16,000 ATMS, which would also support the three ATM networks of NCR, Diebold and Wincor Nixdorf.
FSS managing director, Nagaraj Mylandla, said these initiatives will not only reduce the cost of operations and staff requirement, but also help in better monitoring of operations.
For cash management services, FSS has tied up with Transoft for a product called Opticash that would look after forecasting and custodial (currency chest management) services.
As of now, all payment settlements are done through Visa and MasterCard, the global payments systems. The FSS payments gateway, once operational, will eliminate the need for routing settlements for transactions on the networks of the 22 banks through Vsia and MasterCard , banking sources said.
A senior FSS official pointed out, "international transactions account for only 0.9 per cent of the total transactions in India. If banks adopt a uniform national standard for domestic transactions, a lot of unwanted expenditure can be done away with."