- Cantilan Bank enhances
- Tanya Hotchkiss honored as
global development leader
- 2011's Most Outstanding Rural
Bank in Caraga Region
- CBI opens 22 MBOs in 2012 and
4 branches in Q1 2013
- Send remittances from HK
- CBI Loan Portfolio grew 22%
- Productive Recruitment and
Hiring in 2012
- CBI steps up in banking
- New ATM savings account
- SSC savings consciousness
and environmental awareness
- New Building for Alegria Branch
- CBI hosts educational tours
CBI embarks on a modernization program
Accurate and timely report to decision makers is vital for business to sustain growth and survive in a highly competitive environment. Consolidation of these reports was a challenge faced by Cantilan Bank, Inc. considering the geographical spread of 14 branches, 22 MBOs and 3 OBOs, each reporting to a Corporate Headquarters located on a remote second-class municipality. Further, the bank had also been facing a communication problem for quite a long time. Though major communication service providers are already present in the area, which allow the use of mobile phones and dynamic/static internet communication services, there are some bank reports that require a highly secured communication line. Also posing a challenge was the BSP’s order for all banks to adopt the Philippine Accounting Standards which would comply with International Accounting Standards on or before July 2012. These standards mandate the use of the effective interest method in computing loan interest and upfront loan charges which were previously booked as outright income but now to be amortized over the term of the loan. These changes in accounting procedure are a major departure from the bank’s existing/present accounting system of the core banking software. Upgrading the present core banking software (distributed/stand-alone server) to comply with these standards would mean a total overhaul of the two systems being used by the bank. Considering that one system is outdated, and the other has no source code, upgrading the systems would be virtually impossible.
These were the major challenges facing Cantilan Bank that had to be surmounted to ensure its viability in the next decades. This confluence of factors and events led to a decision by the bank’s Board of Directors chaired by Lt. Gen. William K. Hotchkiss, III (Ret.), to embark on a multi-million-peso modernization program.
The bank’s management was unanimous in its desire to replace the old banking software in order to address reportorial, supervisory and regulatory requirements. Minimum criteria were the following: (1) it should generate consolidated, timely and accurate report at any give point in time, (2) it should respond to the present and future needs of the bank’s clientele especially on the field of mobile phone banking, ATM, and other technology related services, and (3) it should comply with the Philippine Accounting Standards and AMLA regulations, among others.
With these in mind, the bank started looking for an online/real-time core banking software with centralized database server. However, before any choice could be made, a reliable and secure communication system had to be put in place for the core banking software to serve its purpose. A careful and deliberate selection process had to be done as these products don’t come cheap.
Three years ago, the bank approached a major telco service provider and asked if they could provide the bank a private communication network which could also answer our core banking software needs. The bank had series of meetings with this company but it all turned out to be an exercise in futility. The telco never even bothered to visit us. In short, we were snubbed. On the other hand, a mere call to another telco player which has been the bank’s partner in electronic wallet business for quite a long time elicited a prompt visit which resulted to the establishment of the bank’s internet protocol – virtual private network (IPVPN).
From among 3 service providers, Megabanker of Infoserve was chosen to implement a full-blown core banking software which included CASA, LMS, GL and ATM switch. CASA, GL and ATM switches are now running while LMS will start live operation in April 2012. With this core banking software, the bank has been able to expand its products and services among its clients. You can do over-the-counter deposit and withdrawal anywhere from the 14 branches of the bank wherever your account may be. One can enjoy the benefits of having an ATM/Debit card issued by Cantilan Bank, Inc. as a subscriber of BancNet and a member of Nationlink. Automatic clearing of on-us current account can also be enjoyed by the client anywhere he presents his on-us check. Another revolutionary service of the bank, though on its pilot-test mode, is its own mobile phone banking services. Clients registered to this service can inquire balance and transfer money through the use of short messaging system (SMS) or commonly known as text message regardless of telco provider.
To serve as the central reporting and monitoring base, the bank developed and implemented a data/ATM center at the Corporate Headquarters in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur. It is equipped with top-of-the-line IBM rack-type servers, state of art monitoring system to enhance network administration and installed with adequate airconditioning system to keep the IT equipment in good running condition at all times.
The bank also acquired 6 brand new Diebold ATMs to serve its ever-growing clientele. CBI moneycard holders can change pin, inquire balance, withdraw money, pay bills and transfer funds within Nationlink and BancNet networks. Other networks such as Megalink and Expressnet can also inquire and withdraw money from these machines. These machines are strategically located in the following branches: 2 in the CHQ and one each in Alegria, Claver, Madrid and Tandag branches and soon to other branches and MBOs as soon as additional units are acquired.
An integral part of this new modernization program is the upgrade of some other equipment and bank facilities. One of these is the replacement of the old surplus generator sets with brand new ones with automatic transfer switch. With this, clients can be assured of the continuity of bank services. Another important upgrade is the installation of a security system which includes closed-circuit television, burglar alarm and smoke alarm to all branches, MBOs and OBOs. CCTV can be monitored at the CHQ through the IPVPNetwork.
With this multimillion peso investment, the bank is now at par with commercial banks so far as technology is concerned. Reports can now be accessed at any given time with real-time data. Users of financial information can now access consolidated data at will. Communication has also been addressed with the implementation of internal messaging system thru IPVPN. You can chat and send data through the virtual private network. Soon we will implement video conferencing to fully harness the benefits of having a private network.
As the president, Lt. Gen. William K. Hotchkiss III (Ret.) has said, “Technology is the way to combat competition and sustain growth.” This modernization program is basically harnessing the benefits of present technology to efficiently and effectively serve the present and future needs of the bank’s internal and external clients.