Banking bonanza

E-Banking and e-Payments specialist, TPS, has made it a religion to respond to customer needs quickly and help them achieve the agility the sector demands. Colin Edwards discovers what being smart is all about.

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By  Colin Edwards Published  May 1, 2007

When Bahrain and Qatar central banks mandated last year that all banks in the two countries had to make their ATMs smart card (EMV)-compliant, Pakistan-based banking solutions specialist TPS showed the banking world how responsive it could be.

The 10-year old company beat all the Big Boys in coming up with a solution for their customers to EMV in order to enable different terminals in both countries.

Its market responsiveness and understanding of the local environment is how TPS differentiates itself and its products in the competitive banking and automated bill payment world in which it has chosen to play.

"The main thing is how quickly you are able to respond to market needs," says Imran Saeed, the business development manager of the Dubai-based offices of TPS Middle East, adding that continuous research and development and product enhancement has given it a competitive edge.

All the banks TPS has sold into have turned out to be repeat business and multiple product sites, as he says customers have been impressed by the company's ability to meet new requirements within the market.

"This has been one of the true success factors of TPS's products and has been a driver for many other customers to come to us. We are very quick and very flexible in our responses. For other big players, it is not that easy to just go for new development, new customisation, or to answer to a new business immediately," Saeed says.

Such agility, says Imran, has seen the company grow from a two man-operation, which conceptualised the need for inter-banking 10 years ago in Pakistan, to a multi-million dollar company with some 80 global customers both in the banking and utilities sectors. It employs more than 100 professionals and is planning to boost the headcount up to about 140 this year.

Apart from its vast Pakistani bank user base its Middle East clients include banks in Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman and Morocco.

It also has clients in Brunei, Malaysia and Bangladesh. It is not so much the company itself that has grown in that period, he maintains, but the banking industry itself. The company has filled the gap for affordable solutions. This has applied to product gaps that have opened up as well as new markets. The company was one of the first in Libya when it opened up to international trade, as well as Sudan.

"The company started when Pakistan was a very virgin market or virgin kind of banking industry in terms of electronic payment. And all those banks in Pakistan at that time were planning to issue their ATM cards and have different delivery channels," Saeed says.

"The whole concept at that time was to fill the gaps that existed. The main role of TPS has been that it has literally done hand-holding of the whole industry in Pakistan. And this was to the point where now every bank in Pakistan has e-banking solutions and every bank issues ATM cards and all of them are interconnected. So, TPS has played the role of coach or mentor there," he says.

"The breakthrough in the Middle East was venturing into cash deposit automation software. SMARTdeposit is a one of the preferred solutions in the banks all over the region."

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