Banks to improve IT infrastructure to ease e-payment

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    Banks have concluded plans to expand and strengthen the Information Technology (IT), The Nation learnt yesterday.

    The move is to accommodate the increased volume of money transfers triggered by the cashless policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

    A senior bank official, who chose to remain anonymous, told our reporter that he is aware that banks have perfected plans to expand the capacity of their IT platforms so as to accommodate the increased volume and frequency of money transfers.

    He said notwithstanding that the recourse to expansion had been in the pipeline for most Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), the measure assumed urgency because the existing internet facilities and infrastructure suddenly became inadequate and unable to cope with the upsurge in demand of money transfer services, the frequency and volume of transactions.

    It was learnt that although customers are allowed the leverage to transfer large sums money, “up to N10 million,” the banks are becoming more circumspect and very strict in offering the service, consequently, customers are required to be finger-printed, photographed and asked to provide their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), among other measures before money transfers are authorised.

    The official said the banks want to exercise their mandate of tracking every cash in transit, adding that the expanded scrutiny and the additional security measures being put in place have heavily tasked “our infrastructure, necessitating the need and urgency to expand and secure the current IT Infrastructure platforms that we have.

    “Our other colleagues are doing the same thing, because as you know, we’re in the same industry”, the source said.

    Another source said he could not say exactly how much the banks have invested so far to upgrade their e-payment platforms, but The Nation has learnt that banks have pumped in much money into their Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms to meet the surge in e-payment transactions.

    A banker said: “All the banks in Nigeria have been challenged by this policy which has exposed the inefficiencies and inadequacies of some of these technological advancements in the banks. So for banks being very serious institutionalise, it will only take a short time for them to get at it again.”

    According to him, banks have been working round the clock to ensure that this situation is contained as fast as possible because, banks do not want to be found wanting.

    He said: “They need to be respected because they deal with people’s finances, they need their reputation to be intact at all times. That’s why whatever it will take to correct any anomalies, the banks will do it as fast as possible, this is what is happening.

    “Every bank is working round the clock to improve their capacity to take care of whatever problem that is on ground so that they will continue to retain their integrity and respect from their customers,” the banker said.

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