Sonali Bank Limited is the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh. It emerged through the amalgamation of National Bank of Pakistan, Premier Bank and Bank of Bhowalpur. It was corporatized as Sonali Bank Limited on 15 November 2007 by taking over all assets, liabilities and Business of Sonali Bank.
Sonali Bank Limited has a total of 1207 branches including 2(two) overseas branches in India. The bank has two subsidiaries named Sonali Exchange Company, incorporated in USA and Sonali Investment Limited, the Merchant Banking wing of the Bank. The Bank has wide coverage in urban, semi urban and rural areas in Bangladesh.
The Bank has two associate companies named Sonali Bank(UK) Limited operating in United Kingdom and Sonali Polaris FT Limited, operating as a local Bangladeshi Company. It is Sonali who alone enjoys the prestige of being authorized to carry out Government transaction on behalf of Bangladesh bank. At present 674 brances of this Bank is engaged in Governement transaction. The prime objective of this Bank is to provide Banking services to the people of the country from all walks of life.
The Bankwas facing big challenges in replacing their existing branch banking systems. The bank required customization, delivery, installation, implementation and maintenance of a fully centralized online real time banking system. To this effect, the bank chose Intellect’s Core Banking System to positively impact as a key partner in this transformative exercise.
Challenge 1: Data Migration was one of the biggest pain points, as there were disparate and de-centralized systems. Mapping and Extraction of data from these systems and also from manual maintenances was a huge challenge.
Strategy: Intellect’s Data Migration Approach
- Methodology: A combination of best practices and techniques developed from practical experience. Expertise in all various migration approaches like staggered, big bang, source based, target based, etc.
- Skilled Resources: Veteran consultants, seasoned in data integration and specialists in data migration
- Tools: Proprietary software and templates to speed up the process and minimize errors
- Cost Effective: We have proven expertise in strategizing data migration and executing as per the strategy leading to accelerate development, minimize staffing requirements, and lower total cost.
- Defect Resolution: Early defect detection and quick turnaround time for defect resolution.
- A clear cut process was established right from start of the project to ensure success of Data Migration.
Challenge 2: Bangladesh was a new Geography for Intellect, and Sonali bank being the largest bank in the country we had challenges in eliciting the requirements. Regulatory practices were evolving and Language was also a challenge. Also the process of Domestic Fund transfer services and automation of clearing houses were evolving. Intellect has to quickly build the regulatory features and reports, and fully support domestic fund transfer and automation of clearing houses.
Strategy: Entered into JV with Sonali Bank Limited for this implementation. The overall proposition broadly comprises of (1) The proposition on the Joint Venture engagement model with equity share of 49% to Sonali Bank, (2) Intellect TM CBS, a Light weight Core Banking System fully meeting the requirements of Sonali Bank.
Challenge 3: Being a developing country, it had unique products like Back-to-Back Letters of credits and handling of Export development funds. Intellect had to build a whole lot of features to support these features. Also there were some unique features in deposits and loans which were very specific to the country.
Strategy: Delivery excellence framework at Intellect helped Intellect to design, develop and deliver. We use engineering centers specially designed on agile principles, where 6 people teams work as unit cell structures, ensuring high productivity delivery excellence along 8 dimensions. Four dimensions relate to In Full, which drives the behavior of implementation (D1 requirements; D2 technology solution; D3 engineering; D4 support). The focus was also on planning (D5), monitoring & control (D6),stakeholder management (D7) and how we participate as a partner with the customer for higher throughput (D8).
Financial institutions vary in their adoption of technology and their path on the technology journey lifecycle. Intellect works on diverse customer requirements with aggressive outcome focused engagement, delivery and pricing models aligned to their strategic roadmap, execution infrastructure and investment landscape, providing reassuring implementation certainty.
A strong governance model and management oversight is critical for success of any engagement. We will set up in the engagement an efficient and effective mechanism of review, facilitation and control.The customer engagement is managed by an experienced team of professionals to ensure communication, co-ordination with all key stakeholders in the Bank’s transformation project.
Sonali Bank embarked on a technology transformation initiative,in order to not just compete with Private Commercial Banks but also to provide efficient services to its own customers. In an elaborate evaluation process, Sonali Bank has chosen Intellect CBS for its technology enablement from among 4 global major competitors. The following are some of the compelling business cases for Sonali Bank to go for transformation:
- Four disparate branch banking systems were used across the bank and bank wanted an integrated, centralized system
- About 2% of the branches that were too remote, are manually operated
- Major part of the International Trade Finance business that is a huge business for the bank was managed manually and through spreadsheets
- The regulations were difficult to be implemented, as the Country’s regulations were evolving and generation of regulatory and MIS reports were taking humongous effort and time
- Hence Bank wanted to establish:
- State of the art infrastructure (ambiance, Information technology) ready for future growth & expansion.
- Business development through superior customer experience
- Economic development of Bangladesh
Product / Solution provided
The bank required customization, delivery, installation, implementation and maintenance of a fully centralized online real time banking system. To this effect, the bank chose Intellect’s Core Banking System to positively impact as a key partner in this transformative exercise. Designed with the customer at the center, Intellect’s CBS implementation at Sonali Bank, the largest state-owned bank of Bangladesh, marks a key milestone in the journey of the bank’s vision to provide competitive services focused on enhancing functionality and customer experience. With a deep understanding of the Bangladesh market, Intellect’s scalable Core Banking System, straddles the entire range of banking functions, making it the Complete Digital Bank. The following are the key modules implemented at Sonali Bank.
674 branches went live with Intellect CBS. Bangladesh being a developing country and its central bank norms were evolving, Intellect had to build a whole new set of customizations to support some specific regional requirements as well.
Key Achievements and Business Impact
Completely Integrated online-Real time system: After Go-live the branches started experiencing the benefits a fully integrated system and saw enormous traction in the adding new customers. Today the bank is able to engage with the customer more meaningfully and provides a much better service through Intellect Integrated Core banking solution.
Evolution of Intellect Trade Finance as a Function rich product: The Trade Finance module has evolved to be a product by itself catering to complex products and end-to-end management of LC services which includes Guarantee, Letters of Credit, Import L/C including Foreign and local, Export L/C including Back to back LC, Transfer LC and Advice LC.
RTRU(Run Time Re-Use) and LAP(Look Ahead Processing): In End of Day account processing we adopted operations where we used the following process and technologies that resulted in EOD operations getting completed in less than 30 minutes for 600 branches and 7.8 million accounts.
Intellect became Bangladesh Ready: This became a reference site, and it we were able to make further inroads in the Bangladesh market and clinched the deal of Rupali Bank for implementing Intellect.
- Time to create new products and services has decreased from 60 days to 5 days enabling quicker go to market strategy.
- Number of Customers has grown by over 40%.
- Number of Accounts has gone up by 45%
- Asset size has reached the benchmark of 1000 Billion Taka(approximately 78000 crores).
Intellect was ranked #1 at IDC Financial Insights FinTech Rankings Real Results Awards 2016 for its core banking implementation at Sonali Bank”