Ithala SOC selects Intellect Design to support expansion plans
South Africa-based Ithala SOC Limited has selected Intellect Design’s core system to support product and regional expansion, reports Martin Whybrow.
The system integrator will be Tech Mahindra. Ithala SOC is focused on the unbanked sector in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province and is seeking a full banking licence.
The new system will span Ithala’s existing retail and business banking services and will also support expansion into new sectors. The system is meant to enhance the bank’s digital banking as well as its offerings for niche developmental customer segments. It hopes the new system will support the rapid launch of customised products such as student, SME and agriculture loans, debit cards, rural savings/loans and wspecialised offerings.
Ithala SOC is seeking a leading position in KZN Province, where it currently has 39 branches, and also plans to open branches in other provinces.
It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithala Development Finance Corporation, which signed in 2008 for another core system, eMerge, which resides with Temenos. This low-end system for developing markets was acquired by Temenos a few years earlier.
India-based Intellect Design Arena came into being in 2014 as a result of a restructuring of Polaris Group. Much of its original software stemmed from Citigroup, via a spin-off, Orbitech. This merged with Polaris and there were also a few acquisitions. It has built up a reasonable user base for its core platform, including takers in Africa.
Ithala SOC CEO, Danny Zandamela, says: “The implementation of an integrated enterprise-wide core banking system in partnership with Tech Mahindra and Intellect Design Arena will allow us to accelerate our digital banking transformation journey and see us achieving our ambition of obtaining a full commercial banking licence and become a state bank. This digital system will make Ithala one of few players in the South African market to have a fully digital banking system.”