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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, India

India's BPOs slow to penetrate banking sector

While Indian BPOs have made some progress in tapping into lending operations, not much headway has been made in non-lending operations. Indian BPOs have also tended to stay away from voice-based work, which further limits revenues.

Hari Rajagopalachari, ED for consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers India, said that business processes have data and voice content, and regulatory constraints in offshoring data work are stringent. Also, a lot of banks have transaction banking and global trade processing as core service offerings handled out of their own offshore captives and do not see these as being candidates for outsourced offshoring.

Deepak Patel, CEO of Aditya Birla Minacs, said that the amount of low hanging fruit is much lesser in the banking space as compared to the insurance sector for example, which involves huge volumes of transaction processing. In the insurance space, traditional BPOs have about 40% of the $9-12 billion market.

Sameer Dhanranjani, country head, Fidelity National Financial, said that the employee skillsets for the BPO sector in a specialized domain like banking is still found wanting. Most BPOs are located outside of Mumbai where India's financial expertise lies. Indian BPOs have also not built technological solutions or platforms for the banking sector, he added.

Though the banking sector has been slow to outsource its BPO work, BPOs are not ignoring the opportunities it presents. EXL recently closed a third party deal with a captive of a US-based bank; it declined to name the bank. Some companies like Genpact are aggressively looking for acquisitions in the banking space, others are organically building domain capabilities through hiring domain experts or building tools over existing solutions.

The full story is available at the timesofindia.

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