FSS aids first cross border ATM sharing arrangement in the Indian sub-continent

Mumbai - 29 December 2006

Enables transaction switching between Punjab National Bank, India ~ Everest Bank Ltd., Nepal

Punjab National Bank, India (PNB) and Everest Bank Ltd. (EBL), Nepal have recently agreed to share their ATMs Network for their Cardholders on either side of the border. Chennai based Financial Software and Systems (P) Ltd. (FSS), a leader in the electronic payment systems and services arena, has provided the cross country ATM sharing solution via FSSNeT, the outsourcing division of FSS. This is the first time in India, an Indian bank would use domestic network for transaction sharing with a foreign bank.

In Nepal, EBL has outsourced its ATM transaction processing services to M/s Smart Choice Technology (SCT). FSSNeT has tied up with SCT, and has established a data communication network connecting the two networks. Thus both bank card holders can avail of ATM services amongst both banks’ ATMs. PNB would be the settlement bank, to whom FSS would provide settlement reports, with appropriate currency conversion. With FSSNet tying up with SCT, PNB now has opportunities to tie up with other Nepali banks in SCT’s network for ATM sharing.

Says Mr. Nagaraj Mylandla, Managing Director, FSS “For the first time in the history of payment systems in India, two banks across two countries are connecting to each other through domestic networks, bypassing the need to go through international interchanges, resulting in lower cost of services for both banks and their customers. FSS is happy to participate in this unique venture as a technology partner for Punjab National Bank. FSSNeT would enable interchange connectivity and ATM sharing services between PNB and Everest Bank Limited, Nepal. We believe this would pave the way forward for enabling transaction sharing services amongst neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Middle East countries”

Speaking on the occasion of agreement signing, Mr. K.S. Bajwa, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, says " Our bank's tie up with Everest Bank Ltd for ATM sharing is an important milestone in our Retail Banking initiatives, besides improvement in the cross border Payment and Settlement Mechanisms between India and Nepal. PNB has always endeavoured to leverage Technology for the convenience and benefit of the Customer besides improvement in process efficiency at reasonable cost. Our Technology Partner FSS has been instrumental in enabling Interchange connectivity between our ATM network in India with Everest Bank Ltd's ATM Network in Nepal via FSSNeT. Our Customers would now have ready access to their accounts on any of Everest Bank's ATM in Nepal and vice versa, at relatively low transaction cost. This being our first bilateral cross border ATM sharing arrangement, we look forward to tying up with various leading banks in our neighbouring countries."

Punjab National Bank is one of the leading, large, nationalized banks in India in techno-banking. FSS implemented the BASE24 Switch solution for PNB in 2001, providing online ATM facility to its customers. FSS has been fully involved in bank’s card and payment initiatives. With 870+ ATMs, today PNB services over 2.5 million international debit card holders. The bank today has online DR Switch solution implemented by FSS, providing very high availability of electronic services.

Bank networks in neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Middle East have shown keen interest in connecting to FSSNeT, and this provides an opportunity for Indian banks to offer a cost effective solution for transaction sharing with their counter parts in these countries.

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