HQ location: Bangalore
Number of employees: 133,500
Mohit Joshi, VP
Wema Bank is not high on the international banking radar. But the Nigerian bank's hiring of Infosys this summer to develop a brand new multichannel information technology infrastructure to enable faster product delivery, digital banking and transaction consistency is the perfect example of how the tech company is digging deep into its entire tech bench to weather a tough market.
For Lagos-based Wema, Infosys will deploy its Finacle core banking, e-banking and treasury solutions. The bank hopes these tech products will allow it to create a superior customer experience through personalized offers, bundled products and segmentation. Since that requires a sweeping tech deployment that integrates all channels and centralizes data management for all business lines, it's a successful score for Infosys as the entire India-based tech outsourcer market hits a rough patch.
Infosys' sales for the year are expected to be about $7.3 billion. That's substantial, but it's less than the $7.5 billion projected by the analyst community. That's pressured the stock prices of not only Infosys, but rivals such as Wipro and Tata Consultancy, as the companies fight for deals among a client base that's reluctant to take on new contracts because of larger economic uncertainties. Outsourcing deals will be harder to come by, and will require a pitch from the tech company that's heavy on innovation, cost-cutting and revenue generation.
"For a financial institution to get back to acceptable performance to shareholders, they need to expand marketing when introducing new products, and to be more innovative," says Mohit Joshi, vice president and member of the executive council for the financial services and insurance practice at Bangalore-based Infosys. "Multichannel and mobility are large initiatives that will accomplish that. From signing up new accounts online to the contact center, the multiple-channel experience is very important for a bank when looking at [generating] revenue."
Infosys — the second largest Indian tech company, with more than 133,000 employees — is also aggressively pushing new channels and innovation such as mobile banking and tablets. For example, Infosys signed a $30 million deal with ANZ in late August to provide myriad mobile services. The deal will give the Australian bank's customers access to real-time account balances, faster account processing and an expanded range of products and services including electronic options and debit cards.
To tap the trend toward mobile banking adoption, Infosys has set up what it calls mobile centers of excellence, which in the coming months will focus on expanding mobile financial services in all parts of the world.
Infosys, which traces its roots to 1981, is additionally working on signing outsourcing contracts to deliver other IT services such as risk, customer relationship management, Web banking, data management and cross-channel integration, in addition to the new digital channels. "A huge amount of [info] actually drops off in the handoff between channels, we are working to make these handoffs smooth," Joshi says.
Beyond CRM and channel development, Infosys is also focusing heavily on compliance, including Dodd-Frank and other new laws that are on the books or in development in other countries. "We want to reduce the risks that banks have on their balance sheets," Joshi says, adding the company has also reorganized its banking, capital markets and insurance practices into a single global financial services division. (Financial services is more than one-third of Infosys' overall business.) "We did that to tighten the focus on financial services."