People’s Bank seeks off-the-shelf system

The IT platform provider for the government's 'People's Bank' is expected to be known in three months.

The IT platform provider for the government's “People’s Bank” is expected to be known in three months.

The RFP for the project was released for public consumption last week, though it has been in the hands of contenders for the contract since late February.

The proposed bank has gone for a substantially “packaged” service, requiring “minimal customisation”. As expected, the system will provide purely for retail banking.

It will include the “core banking software platform and application software, with distribution channels through ATM, EFTPOS, Internet, call centre, telephone banking, and [Post’s] retail branch network,” says the RFP.

General ledger, treasury and business intelligence processes and integration with Post Link (New Zealand Post’s point of sale and transaction delivery system) and regulatory and banking industry computer systems are also requested. Ancillary functions like human resources, payroll and properties are not covered.

Total cost of ownership will be a vital factor, says Tony Hood of the banking project team – a pressure deriving from the value-for-money proposition of the bank. “With that in mind we are looking for a solution that is scalable and has built in flexibility.”

The existing terminals in PostShops will be retained, he says – they are already capable of simple banking transactions like deposits and withdrawals. However, extra equipment, “probably PCs”, will be added in each shop to handle more comnplex “personal banking” services like starting up accounts and handling mortgages.

Hood declines to give an expected value for the contract prior to tender negotations, and NZ Post people also refuse to be led into estimation. “This is a commercial process, and the value has to remain confidential for now,” says Post spokesman Simon Taylor.

But kudos for the successful vendor will not arise solely from winning a high-valued contract, says Hood. The project is an opportunity to work with a newly-started organisation and build from the ground up, he says. “There are not many of those contracts come around.”

Proposals have been received from local and overseas organisations, he says. “I can say more than 20.”

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