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Sustainable Banking: Technology's Crucial Role

The call for sustainable banking has been answered by banks in various innovative ways - transformed processes, novel products and channels, fresh policies.  With the active support of technology solutions, banks are seen gradually turning to sustainable banking

(a)Process innovation 
There are various organizational initiatives like the UNEP-FI and the Equator Principles, any or a combination of which banks have voluntarily adopted as part of their efforts towards sustainability.  The adherence to their guidelines necessitates reflection of guideliness in their banking processes. It is imperative that the bank's Origination platform supports the flexibility to define or integrate with the functionality to ascertain the alignment of a corporate loan proposal during its origination.

(b)Product and channel innovation
Technology plays a major role in financial inclusion drive, given the large section of unbanked population in the world.  Banks reach out to the farthest of the location with the offline handheld devices, to draw people into the banking fold. Internet and mobile technologies are reaching the bank starved populace as well. Financial institutions are also joining forces with network operators and providing even non-customers access to mobile financial services. These product and channel innovations require robust and scalable technology platforms. 

(c)Policy innovation
The responsibility for implementing the sustainability policies chalked out by banks depends to a great extent on the technology platforms and the infrastructure - hardware as well as software.  For instance, when a bank takes up a "paper less banking " initiative, a corresponding solution in the form of electronic dissemination of internal and external communication should be supported by the technology solution used by the bank.

With an increasing number of banks working towards sustainability, the onus on technology solutions to scale up and innovate towards sustainable banking is also rising.


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