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The Digital Banking Essentials in the Indian Financial System

via CXO: To make a customer’s banking journey smooth, banks need to start giving access to digital services across multiple touch points.

By – Malavika Kumar, Business Growth Consultant, Aspire Systems

Even though the words omni-channel and digital in the Indian Banking system have now become cliché, banks really do not have any other choice but to adopt them as fast as they can. Many banks in 2018 are prying on the GAFA business model, the fabulous foursome of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. It’s all about leveraging or exploiting the expanse of customer created value. It’s really time to start acting upon those digital strategies you have hidden in the closet that remains unimplemented. Can we practically say that the success for a bank to be digitally omni-present entirely lies in choosing a fitting digital banking solution?

Let’s talk reality – the digital banking market is overcrowded, can be good at times to learn from them but usually they tend to confuse you. Among all this hype, how are you going to find the right digital banking solution that fits your needs perfectly? Charting down your priorities for what you want the solution to be doing is definitely a start. Here is a list of 6 things I think is crucial for a bank to keep in mind while adopting or is on the verge of implementing a new bespoke digital banking solution.

Being Everywhere Counts

With the ongoing digital fluctuation in the Indian financial system, banks need to take a fresh look at their existing consumer journeys. To make a customer’s banking journey smooth, banks need to start giving access to digital services across multiple touch points. Indian consumers today are so omni-channel themselves, they pick up calls through a watch while they shop for clothes without actually seeing them or trying them on. 10 years back this would have been a big joke! Well, time flies and Indians now need an immersive and seamless customer experience to bank on. It’s about providing the same banking experience on all the devices owned by the consumer. Also, real time linking of activities from one device to another device is crucial. A simple save and retrieve can do the trick. In an interview with Aspire Systems, Rajnish Khare, Head Digital Transformation, Social Media, New Business and Mobility Banking at HDFC Bank said “Providing “On the Go” banking services across multiple platforms coupled with enriching experiences will be the key to a “Delighted Customer”.

Easy to Use

The number of applications on the app store keeps rising with the adoption of smartphones today. Having different apps installed on the phone for every single utility has now become a trend. While I visit the app store, there are umpteen number of apps I fancy and end up downloading. But I don’t end up using all the apps I have downloaded on my phone. How many unused apps do you still have installed on your phone? The only reason we do not end up using these apps is because they are not easy enough for us to use. It is very important to consider the key aspect of simplicity. How easy is your banking app to use? Within how many seconds can a customer view their account balance, make payments? Or how many clicks does it take to view all the exciting offers you have for them in a particular neighborhood?

Customer Onboarding

Coming back to how simple your app can be, the on-boarding process needs to fit right into this picture. Onboarding is a task which is viewed to be tedious and never ending for some of us. Your app must be equipped to process e-KYC documents digitally. Clicking a photo for opening an account and digital signature verification are few important attributes that can make a new customer’s onboarding experience seamless and exciting.

Personal Finance Management

I am a millennial in the Digital India age. I haven’t seen huge amounts of cash physically quite some time now. Because of this our value for large sums of money stored all digitally (rarely seen and less physically felt) has become a lot lesser compared to the previous generation. Bank balances online have become a game of numbers. Tracking my bank balance, making payments on time and saving up for my upcoming travel plans are actually proving to be very difficult. A goal based saving approach is a core requirement for millennials from a banking app. While there are several money tracking and savings apps in the market, banks need to encompass this factor into their digital banking plan to win over millennials. For example, ICICI’s ‘My Money’ is a personal finance management solution built into their digital banking app. Financial goals can be set for customized value and duration. Create a go to app where all their needs are taken care of. This is definitely one way of making your bank app useful.

AI support

AI is definitely going to revolutionize a lot of things in the coming future. Out of which one will be customer support at banks. Banks today are very keen to integrate their digital banking solution with chatbots. Even though chatbots are not that advanced and the fact is that it cannot compete with human intelligence for support, they can still provide 24/7 support for basic banking functionalities like check bank balance, transfer and so on. For example, HDFC’s Eva can be quite handy instead of a search option. While purchasing or building a new digital banking solution you must have a roadmap for AI related integrations for the future.

Crucial core banking support – The Reality

The most important aspect out of all these 6 points is this one. A lot of digital banking solutions from fintech have risen from a non-banking background. Their understanding of core banking can be bare minimum. The only challenge these fintech face while implementing such solutions is their compatibility with a bank’s core system. Banks with core legacy systems can be a never ending process in this case. It is really important to find a digital banking solution that can integrate easily with your existing core banking system; if not your cost and implementation time will definitely go up.

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