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HDFC Bank to move to new digital bank IT platform – Times of India

MUMBAI: HDFC Bank on Thursday unveiled its longer-term digital banking plans. These involve building a new digital bank, rather than limit the solution to scaling up systems, and increased monitoring to address glitches. Earlier, HDFC Bank had said that it had drawn up short-, medium-, and long-term action plans to address digital banking outages for which it was pulled up by the RBI.
The bank is moving from traditional core banking to a new architecture that involves ‘hollowing out’ the core. This will enable a lot of functions to be done outside the core banking architecture. Operations too are being moved to the cloud so that things can be scaled up on demand during festivals and big sale days. The bank has added 50 people as part of its ‘enterprise factory’ and ‘digital factory’ initiatives that aim to address glitches in the present system and parallelly build a new system for the future.
Addressing the media, HDFC Bank chief information officer Ramesh Lakshminarayanan said, “The core banking system was monolithic, they had one database where transactions took place. There was very little you could do to replicate them. Payments, balances, statements — everything sits on a monolithic architecture.”
He added that under the new age core banking, the bank will have a loosely coupled architecture of microservices payments. “We are slowly getting to the situation where we will be hollowing out the core,” said Lakshminarayanan.Last year, after repeated outages of digital banking services, the RBI barred HDFC Bank from launching additional digital products and on-boarding new credit card customers until it fixed its IT issues. Lakshminarayanan did not give any timeline on when the embargo would be lifted, stating that the bank had done all it had promised to do, and he did not want to second-guess the regulator.
The new architecture would also enable the bank to shift payments between any of the exiting rails like real-time gross settlement and other platforms. “We are also decoupling the front end so that mobile banking and net banking are not the only assets to log into, just like today. Just like you can access your balance through GPay or PayZapp, you will be able to have multiple access to your account,” he said.
Lakshminarayanan said that what the bank is doing now in the short term is working to prevent outages by automating the switchover to disaster recovery and at the same time working toward the transformation. The migration, he said, would be in stages and once the critical transactions like payments or hot-listing are migrated, a lot of pain would get addressed.

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