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population. Demand for niche banking services such as Islamic financing and agricultural banking have grown especially quickly. The latter has been aided by the emergence of mobile banking services, being offered by 17 of the domestic commercial banks by late 2013, which allows the disbursement and easy access of funds in rural areas. There had been four selections in 2009, which went to Temenos (Janata Bank and National Bank), Oracle FSS (for the payments portion of Flexcube, for a remittance project at Sonali Bank), and TCS (at central bank, Bangladesh Bank, with cutover in 2012). Temenos had also seen single deals in the country in 2007 and 2008. Temenos then picked up the only deal on offer in 2010, at Mercantile Bank. Things became more active in 2011, after the central


bank’s decree, with four selections. Three were for Polaris’ Intellect Core and one was for Oracle FSS’s Flexcube. Those Polaris wins were linked and stemmed from a joint venture with the country’s largest state-owned bank, Sonali Bank, and Bangladesh Commercial Bank Limited (BCBL). Polaris took a majority stake of 51 per cent in the new entity. The rest was taken by Sonali, but the stake was intended to be reduced to 30 per cent with a couple more banks coming on board as shareholders, one of which was expected to be regional agricultural bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (this duly occurred). In 2012, the two selections ended up with Temenos.


One was at NRB Global, a niche bank offering services to Bangladeshi expatriates (predominantly in the UK), who are also the main benefactors of the bank. The other was a start- up, South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank. Temenos claims to have developed a Bangladesh ‘model bank’, which


encompasses the local requirements, hence planned short implementation timescales for these projects. It has an active local partner, Datasoft Systems. 2013 was busy once more. Most of the activity until


then had been in the private banks. However, in 2013, state- owned Rupali Bank started an implementation of Polaris’ Intellect across its 517 branches. At the time of the deal, the bank’s general IT manager, Debasish Chakrabarty, observed: ‘All the private banks have automated with centralised,


online core banking solutions. The nationalised banks lag behind, but Rupali Bank is now taking action to go for automation.’ The bank’s current system is Infinity Banking Solution, from a local firm, Infinity Technology International. It was actually the bank’s third attempt at a selection after two earlier processes failed, with concerns from suppliers about the transparency of these. Alongside Intellect, for Islamic functionality, will be the system of another local core banking supplier, Millennium Information Solution. Indeed,


domestic suppliers were among the


beneficiaries in 2013. Millennium was also implementing its Ababil core system at Union Bank. Another local player, Leadsoft, scooped up three wins at start-ups Meghna Bank, Modhumoti Bank and NRB Commercial Bank. And another, Flora Telecom, signed a deal with Midland Bank for its Flora Bank core offering. Temenos won another deal in 2013, at another start-up,


Farmers Bank, taking its tally in the country to nine. Oracle FSS made it seven during the year, adding another domestic greenfield


bank, NRB Bank, then United


Bank. There was even some activity in Bangladesh in 2013 for Misys, albeit an upgrade. This was at 108-branch


Dhaka Commercial


Market Dynamics Report www.ibsintelligence.com


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