Staff Correspondent

Official prescribes structural changes, including mergers and acquisitions

MANGALORE: Banks should remain innovative to retain their customers and to ensure their satisfaction, B.R. Bhat, General Manager, Corporation Bank, has said. He was delivering a talk on "Future wave of banking" at the Srinivas College of Post-Graduate Management Studies here on Tuesday. It was organised by The Hindu Business Line Club.

Referring to the future of banking, he said banks will have to adopt global standards. Risk management, payments and settlements should be strengthened to ensure real-time fund transfer. Banks should also make structural changes in the organisation, including mergers and acquisitions, he added.

Referring to banking services in India, he said the increased use of technology has made life easier for customers. Banks have computerised their branches. Noting that there is a vast scope for information technology in India, he said that for a nation with vast human resources, the total number of bank accounts are 44 crores and only 4.4 crores of these can be accessed electronically.

Only 1.25 lakh merchants accept cards and 60 per cent of them have electronic terminals. These factors can be progressively enhanced in the banking sector, he noted.

He noted that transactions carried out using ATMs and the Internet cost the least. It is likely that banks will be ATM and Internet-oriented, driven by strong networking and e-payment mechanisms in days ahead, he said.