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Mumbai: Private lender HDFC Bank will do whatever it takes to ramp up its digital banking infrastructure, chief information officer Ramesh Lakshminarayanan said on Thursday.

India’s largest private bank has been plagued with digital disruptions owing to a variety of reasons and said it is making investments in newer technologies to scale up.

“We are very focussed on making these investments. Whatever it takes, we are very focussed to make these as these are the right set of technology investments. Going into cloud-native stacks, building new tech talent, building the infrastructure skillset, the design aspects, all are very important," said Lakshminarayanan.

The bank, he said, is witnessing a shift in the way one approaches technology. Today concepts are elastic scaling, on-demand scaling, container-ready, cloud-native architecture have become the need of the hour, he said.

“While we have seen some of the outages in the last couple of years, that does not mean we are not investing or looking at the whole existing technology piece. That is an area we are constantly improving and monitoring," he added.

According to him, HDFC Bank customers expect a certain quality and a gold standard, which the bank probably has not been up to. He added that the changes being made will soon reflect in customer experiences. Customer payments, call centre experiences, would start seeing some changes in the 15-18 months period starting by the end of this year and the beginning of next year, he said.

In December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordered HDFC Bank to freeze new digital banking initiatives and credit card issuances until it addressed the lapses that had caused multiple glitches in its internet and mobile banking systems over the past two years. In February, the regulator appointed an external firm to conduct a special audit of the entire information technology (IT) infrastructure of the bank.

On the progress of RBI’s third-party IT audit and a possible timeline for lifting of the embargo, Lakshminarayanan said the bank has completed all assessments and the matter is with the regulator. Interestingly, the bank’s mobile application again faced an outage on 15 June. However, the lender was able to fix it soon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shayan Ghosh

Shayan Ghosh is a national writer at Mint reporting on traditional banks and shadow banks. He has over a decade of experience in financial journalism. Based in Mint’s Mumbai bureau since 2018, he tracks interest rate movements and its impact on companies and the broader economy. His interests also include the distressed debt market, especially as India’s bankruptcy law attempts recoveries of billions worth of toxic assets.
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