Dataquest quizzed K A Babu, head -Retail Business Department, Federal Bank to know about the bank’s steps to compete with the global counterparts which are enticing customers with their cool, new mobile-based banking features. Babu reveals a lot of secrets about Federal Bank’s mobile banking initiatives.
What kind of investments has Federal Bank made to digitize the business?
In tune with the Digital Journey, Federal Bank has embarked on various digital projects with the vision of capturing the future in the present. We are investing heavily on our digital innovations this year. Federal bank has launched a string of digital products to make banking more convenient to our customers. This include mobile passbook – Fedbook, mobile banking app – Fedmobile, Internet banking tool – Fednet, Scan N Pay – our merchant payment App etc. Bank has introduced ‘Soft PIN’ for debit cards supporting both the ‘go green’ initiative and ‘Digital India’. Bank is soon launching missed call Banking facility as an added feature for customers to check their account balance.
Federal Bank is offering best-in-class services to increasingly tech-savvy customers through products such as POS, E Fee, E maintenance, E collection, IMPS ,Prepaid cards, travel cards, online religious offering. Bank is also in the process of digitizing Asset products, where in the customers will be able to get the loans of their own on the digital platform.
Bank has also deployed a robust mobile platform to support the business requirements and to provide enhanced digital experience. It offers a single mobile application which can be used over all the operating system.
What’s FedMobile? What features does it include for your customers?
FedMobile is our mobile banking platform introduced in 2010, which enables customers to access banking facility through their mobile. Mobile phones have become the most accessible and cost-effective tool for communication. It is amazing that the number of mobile connections in India has exceeded 600 million. The rapid growth in the number of users, especially among the youth, and wider coverage of mobile phone networks have made this channel an important platform for extending banking service.
Recently we have come up with the new version of FedMobile. The major advantage of the new version is the simplified registration process. A federal Bank customer can register for the facility online, by using his/her credentials of our internet banking or Debit card. Also the App comes with easy navigation and advanced security features. Fast processing is another advantage; customers can complete the transaction in minimal time using the new version. We are currently offering Fund Transfer, Recharge, School Fee Payment etc. We are working to bring maximum customer convenient features in the App.
What type of challenges did you face in building FedMobile platform?
Managing different versions for different operating system was a challenging task. Different mobile companies use different types OS in smart phones. Our current robust mobile platform helps us to manage with just a single version. Another challenge is the payment security. The major concern while developing the App was to enhance security without affecting customer convenience. Our latest version of Fedmobile has all security features without compromising on the customer convenience.
This fraud protection solution helps to prevent malware and phishing-driven fraud, control mobile fraud risk and detect account takeover attacks & fraudulent transactions. Lack of network communication infrastructure in rural and remote areas causes connectivity issues. Currently, connectivity remains low in rural and geographically secluded areas like mountainous regions or regions with low population densities.
Another challenge is migration of our customers from manual mode of transactions to the digital mode. Transactions are moving to the Internet, giving customers fewer reasons to visit branches. The new technologies, such as social networking and online facilities are transforming the relationship with customers. Bank is in the process of giving more offers, facilities, convenience and reasons for the customers to stand tuned to the bank. At the same time, the bank continues to give very warm and personalized professional and quality service to our customers.
Did you develop FedMobile in-house or hire a partner to develop a platform?
It was a joint effort. Our IT team along with an external partner completed the project. This helped us in getting an overall control of the project including quality. External partner mainly extended their advisory support for making the solution more secured. The major reason for developing this solution internally was to ensure close integration with Back end and other supporting systems. Our In House IT team is aware of the end to end solution and they could easily complete the development and integration activities as scheduled by the Bank.
What are other digital initiatives which the bank is planning?
We are in the process of transforming our customers more into digital platform and give the latest banking offers and conveniences. Our theme for the year is “Federal on Every Mobile” and we wish to see all our customers experience our digital offers.
Mobile Banking is rapidly growing, not only among youngsters but among senior customers as well and is surging ahead from fund transfer payments / balance enquiry etc towards bill payments, bookings etc. We have launched an innovative mobile payment app recently – Scan n Pay- which is far innovative compared to conventional banking or payment products in the market and is witnessing tremendous response from our customers. We are also launching another innovative Banking app soon for customer onboarding , which will be another benchmark in the banking industry. Also all our existing channels – FedNet, FedMobile etc. are getting further revamped and enriched which are, sure with utmost customer convenience and zero compromise on security.