Our Bureau

Kolkata, Dec. 7

THE State Bank of India will offer through C-EDGE Technologies, its newly-formed joint venture with Tata Consultancy Services, an advanced technology platform to regional rural banks as well as other smaller banks.

RRBs, which are known to have limited access to technology, will be able to utilise C-EDGE to increase their efficiency and reduce costs. The plan is to create a virtual "technology bank", said Mr A.K. Purwar, Chairman of SBI.

The new company, a 51:49 venture with TCS holding majority stake, was flagged off recently to provide domain consulting and technology solutions for the banking and financial services (BFS) sectors.

SBI intends to position it as an extension of its technology initiative, aimed at serving the entire State Bank group as well as other BFS outfits.

"C-EDGE, for which recruitments will start, will now cater to the domestic market. It will look to international markets subsequently," Mr Purwar said. He was talking to newspersons after addressing a session at Infocom 2005.

On another front, SBI sees e-banking as the true successor to traditional forms of banking, especially with the creation of large-scale technology infrastructure in India.

Besides, this will be important for bridging what the SBI chief thought is "a great digital divide" that now exists between urban and rural segments of the market.

Even SHGs (self-help groups) can be serviced more efficiently with the use of advanced technology.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 8, 2005)
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