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Breaking News : Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank merge
Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank merge

Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank have received the necessary approvals from India's central bank to merge, and the unification of the two entities under the Kotak Mahindra brand is already in full swing.

The $2.5 billion acquisition of ING Vysya, announced last November, is set to create India's fourth largest lender in the private sector, with ten million customers and 1250+ branches. It will also give Kotak Mahindra a strong presence in the south of the country, which it lacked previously.

The question remains, however, over the underlying technology of the unified bank. Kotak Mahindra has been using Infosys' Finacle core banking system for the last five years or so (the decision to switch from Oracle FSS's Flexcube to Finacle was taken in 2009). It continues to be listed by Oracle FSS as a user of Flexcube for private banking operations. It also runs the Thomson Reuters-derived KTP platform (now residing with Misys) for treasury and capital markets.

Meanwhile, ING Vysya is a long-standing (and the first in the country) user of FIS's Profile core offering, and although it has not always been a smooth relationship, the bank was quite complimentary about the vendor and the established partnership when speaking to IBS last year. It also paved the way for further core banking software deals for FIS in the country, such as with Bandhan Financial Services, Bharatiya Mahila Bank and Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank.

In 2013/4, ING Vysya went through an extensive IT modernisation exercise, including a major upgrade of Profile, a new data centre, and launching a mobile/smartphone banking solution. The bank's CIO at the time, C V G Prasad, stated that the bank's IT spend was 'viewed as investment, not cost', and hence it was 'all strategic in nature'.

According to Jaimin Bhatt, president and group CFO at Kotak Mahindra Bank, the decision regarding which core system to use going forward has not been taken yet.

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