Monday, July 25, 2011

State of IT Usage in India?

Mutual funds in the old days would give paper certificates. As computerisation increased, these paper certificates disappeared and were replaced by an account statement. Over the years, each purchase became a different account. Some consolidation of the accounts into folios was done but even then I had a lot of folios.

Online handling of the accounts meant that I had to manage multiple folios with multiple passwords. It seemed simpler to try to consolidate them.

The rules were not too complex, though some seemed a bit silly. But without silly rules, bureaucracy would not be able to survive.

Since online purchase required that a registered bank account be used to prevent money laundering, I filled a form to add a second bank account to each of my holdings. That would also ensure that the bank accounts would be the same for each folio that I wanted to consolidate.

Request was rejected because it was treated as a request for CHANGE of bank account though the form was for ADDITION of bank accounts. The change of bank account required some more papers. I suspect that the chances are their IT system could not handle the additional requirement introduced by the regulator.

There was some impact of my request, which I cannot really comprehend. One of my holdings now had the account number of one bank but the name of the other bank! The dividend could not be credited. I had to provide proof of the account which was already there in their computer records! The service centre printed a copy from their system, which I signed and submitted.

I decided to make one more attempt as ensuring that the registrar did not goof up with my bank records was a scary proposition.

This time I carefully consolidated only those folios which had the same bank account. Folios of one bank were consolidated but not for the other.

Reason - the bank details did not tally. That was strange. However, it appears that in their system, the bank details associated with each account are separately stored. For some reason, in some folios, in some of the holdings the other bank's details were present. This is a logical fallacy as per their rules. But their computer system is more flexible!

Since that flexibility is not be used, it clearly implies an erroneous data model of their system.

The process has left me bewildered and worried. As the computer systems keep getting more complex, I will need to monitor my accounts to ensure that no mess has been created.

I have also decided not to consolidate my folios because I wonder what new errors will be introduced.

Or may be they moved their processes to the cloud as they  were too complex - as in tech-comics- let cloud computing make your life-easier.