Idealinvent has gained a first core banking deal for its ConnectCore system at Postal Savings Bank (PostalBank) in the Philippines. The project is being delivered via local IT services provider, QNX Solutions Inc (QSI), with which Idealinvent agreed an exclusive reselling agreement for ConnectCore in November last year.

QSI has been contracted by the bank to deliver the new system, and had originally opted to supply 3i Infotech’s Kastle Core Banking. However, this project experienced difficulties and subsequently ground to a halt after two years of implementation, says Emmanuel Ramasola, EVP at QSI.

Kastle Core Banking was originally intended to span lending, GL, accounting and reporting at PostalBank, however there were a number of issues which surfaced during the roll-out. ‘The product was not stable and the support and knowledge sharing was not good, so it became impossible to finish the project,’ recalls Ramasola. He adds there was an issue with some of the customisations of the system and when the project got to UAT stage it was apparent these were insurmountable. IBS attempted to contact 3i Infotech, but received no response at the time of publication.

Following the abandonment of the project, QSI collaborated with Idealinvent and proposed its ConnectCore system to PostalBank. ‘We explained to the bank that we had found a replacement product which is far superior in functionality,’ says Ramasola. There was then a ‘rigorous evaluation and product walkthrough’ before the bank agreed to proceed with the new system. Ganapathy Swaminathan, head of business development at Idealinvent, explains that the ‘ease of configuration’ was one of the main appeals of ConnectCore.

The new project commenced in May this year, with the first phase (for end-to-end loan administration) expected to go live in October. Swaminathan suggests that the bank will stick to the basic version of ConnectCore as much as possible to guarantee a fast implementation. ‘The risk for core banking transformations tends to emerge from the scope of the customisations,’ he feels. PostalBank will then look to replace its deposits system, which is currently supported by Misys’ Equation, with Idealinvent hopeful it will also be awarded this contract.

Ramasola is confident that this project will prove more successful, explaining that QSI has undergone knowledge transfer with Idealinvent on ConnectCore and has a ‘robust’ understanding of the system. ‘As the implementation project is now underway, there are no delays and everything is progressing smoothly,’ he states. Despite being the first taker of the ConnectCore core banking modules (the vendor has references for the card management and channels components only), Swaminathan says the bank is ‘comfortable’ with the product and with QSI leading the project.

Idealinvent now hopes to tap into further business in the Philippines, especially in the rural sector, says Swaminathan, with the vendor launching a SaaS version of ConnectCore. ‘Rural banking in the Philippines is at a critical stage, and the central bank has opened up the market for services to be deployed on the cloud.’ Elsewhere, the vendor is engaged in a project with Energbank in Moldova, which has opted for its internet and mobile banking applications, whilst there have been further partnership agreements in Russia, Azerbaijan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

By Jan Metcalf

by Darshana Adanwale