The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) entered into an agreement on 15th February 2001, for deploying a messaging solution for the Indian banking and financial sector.
The solution, aimed at providing Secured Multi-tiered Financial Messaging, will enable banks to send financial and non-financial messages across the Indian Financial Network (INFINET) in a secure environment. INFINET, a Closed User Group (CUG) network, comprising VSATs and other modes of terrestrial communication links, has been established by the IDRBT for the exclusive use of the country's banking and financial sector.
The Structured Financial Messaging Solution (SFMS) is based on TCS' messaging gateway product COMS-eNABLER. It is being customised and deployed in a multi-tiered architecture consisting of a central HUB, bank gateways and branch Front-ends. The solution allows the definition of message structures, message formats, and its authorisation for usage by the financial community.
Specifically, the banks and financial institutions will use the designated messages for a wide range of applications, including simple messaging, EFT (Retail, RTGS), ECS, electronic debit, online trading in government securities, centralised funds' query for banks and FIs, Anywhere/Anytime Banking and inter-branch reconciliation, etc. through INFINET.
The RBI, IDRBT, IBA and other members of the CUG are working together to formulate strategies for smooth operation and usage of the network to its optimum level.
The front-ends in the branches are connected to the gateway(s), and in turn, the gateways are connected to a central Hub. The solution is integrated with a Smart Card-based PKI infrastructure ensuring total privacy, integrity, security, encryption and decryption mechanisms with full acknowledgement and non-repudiation techniques. These will conform to ISO and ANSI standards, as recommended by the Dr Vasudevan Committee report on Technology Upgradation in the banking sector.
The solution will be deployed in a phased manner commencing with a pilot deployment of the software at the central Hub, three bank gateways and 30 branches of various banks. Then, the solution will be scaled up to include more gateways, branches and bank applications.
The pilot deployment will be completed in six months. Thereafter, the IDRBT plans to arrange for implementation at 3,000 branches of 30 banks within a few months of completing the pilot project.
On the occasion of signing the contract with TCS, Dr VP Gulati, IDRBT director said: "This is a project of national significance for the banking and finance industry. Other RBI applications like PDO, RTGS, etc. will rely on the backbone created by this SFMS project." Recalling TCS' successes in similar projects, Mr V Chandrashekhar, regional head of TCS, Hyderabad, expressed confidence that TCS would deliver a world-class solution using indigenous expertise.