Slow development on the technology front may push the launch of the postal payment bank by another few months giving a lead to its rivals such as Paytm and Airtel which are about to start soon.
The Department of Post (DoP) has had to re-tender its technology contract after it failed to get bids from any of the major Indian technology firms including Infosys, Wipro, TCS etc.
In its first attempt to find a technology vendor to build the backbone for its ambitious payment bank, DoP found itself in a single bid situation – with the lone application of Polaris India.
Officials of technology companies said that they decided to give the opportunity a miss since the contract didn’t make business sense and its terms and conditions were very vague and open ended.
An executive of one of the top IT firms said that the department is under a lot of pressure to start the operations and wanted the implementation to happen within six weeks, which is impossible for companies to pull off.
“They wanted the IPR of the banking platform to be handed over to them, nobody will do that,” said an executive. The person added that who funds the cash flow was also very adverse and there were lots of other sticky issues.
As per the current plan, India Post Payments Bank will eventually have 650 branches across the country. The department has to submit a final proposal to the Reserve Bank of India before March 2017.
Another official of a large tech company said, “While all of us are Indians and we want to work for the country, it should also make business sense.”
Posts has now come up with a fresh tender last week and officials said that they are currently studying the feasibility of it and will take a call in a few days on whether to be participate in it.