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Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s biggest and one of the world’s largest IT companies, has released a software kit that banks can use to quickly build their own mobile apps. The release reflects the larger effort among India’s biggest software services companies to turn themselves into vendors of smart software solutions that help customers solve business problems quickly, rather than as outsourced services vendors who help cut costs.
They might sound geeky, but terms such as ‘API’ (application programming interface) and SDK (software development kit) are becoming the lifeblood of modern enterprise software development, and not just apps that consumers use on their smartphones. And companies such as TCS offer the advantage of providing the backend infrastructure that can handle what the banks’ end customers want, while the apps serve as elegant digital channels to engage those users.
Solutions such as TCS’s app development kit help “people like product managers and business analysts to be the prime designer, rather than tossing the projects over the wall to design firms, platform providers and IT”, Dan Latimore, senior vice president at banking and financial services consultancy Celent, said in a press release from TCS on June 8. This helps banks build their own solutions, Latimore points out. The kit helps financial institutions build their apps to an extraordinary degree without the need for mobile development skills — with features like drag and drop. The banks get to use pre-built widgets and components that TCS has architected to recognise where and how the apps will be used and provide the underlying functionality.
The kit can be used to build apps that are both business-facing or consumer facing. In addition to the kit’s pre-built components, banks can add their existing or new components.
"We envision apps to supplant browser-based interfaces — not just on mobile phones, tablets, kiosks, IoT-connected devices, but also on desktop PCs in a single code base,” says Sathish Vallat, principal consultant at the Mumbai IT company’s financial solutions strategic business unit. The unit provides a large portfolio of software and solutions under the brand name TCS BaNCS. Vallat added: “The vision is to transfer flexibility and speed of development to the bank, leveraging a library of business aware financial widgets and components."