A core banking system is the software used to support a bank’s most common transactions.
Elements of core banking include:
• Making and servicing loans.
• Opening new accounts.
• Processing cash deposits and withdrawals.
• Processing payments and cheques.
• Calculating interest.
• Customer relationship management (CRM) activities.
• Managing customer accounts.
• Establishing criteria for minimum balances, interest rates, number of withdrawals allowed and so on.
• Establishing interest rates.
• Maintaining records for all the bank’s transactions.
Core banking functions differ depending on the specific type of bank. Retail banking, for example, is geared towards individual customers; wholesale banking is business conducted between banks; and securities trading involves the buying and selling of stocks, shares and so on. Core banking systems are often specialized for a particular type of banking. Products that are designed to deal with multiple types of core banking functions are sometimes referred to as universal banking systems.
Core banking became possible with the advent of computer and telecommunication technology that allowed information to be shared between bank branches quickly and efficiently. Before the 1970s it used to take at least a day for a transaction to reflect in the account because each branch had their local servers, and the data from the server in each branch was sent in a batch to the servers in the data center only at the end of the day (EoD). Over the following 30 years most banks moved to core banking applications to support their operations where CORE Banking may stand for “centralized online real-time exchange”. This basically meant that all the bank’s branches could access applications from centralized data centers. This meant that the deposits made were reflected immediately on the bank’s servers and the customer could withdraw the deposited money from any of the bank’s branches.