IndusInd Bank is betting on digital innovations: Paul Abraham, COO

Indian banks have been at the forefront of technology-led innovations. While several private banks have taken the social media route to please their customers, IndusInd Bank, has in a first, introduced Video branch banking. In an interview with Dataquest, Paul Abraham, Chief Operating Officer, IndusInd Bank, shares his views on the key digital innovations undertaken by his bank, and explains how these initiatives have helped it improve its competitiveness

Some edited excerpts:

How has traditional banking changed over the years, and how is IndusInd Bank taking the help of technology to maintain its competitive edge?

Centralized operations and process automation using core banking and other specialized applications have changed the banking landscape. Technology has been very effectively used by banking industry to scale up in a cost-effective way. The next obvious trend that we have seen in past few years has been to define clear objectives, processes and metrics for innovation in all spheres of banking.

IndusInd has been at the forefront of tech led innovations and we believe that use of technology for robust risk management, best in class customer experience and increased focus on mobility would help us maintain competitive edge in the banking sector.

What are some of the recent technology initiatives undertaken by the bank, and explain how has this helped in improving competitiveness and customer satisfaction?

Channel innovation has been one of the areas where lots of technology initiatives have been undertaken by the bank. We are betting on digital innovations which would create value for the customers and would reduce operating cost for the bank. We launched My Account My Number, Online account opening, Video Branch and a number of new features on Internet and mobile banking which helped us increase customer satisfaction.

How have initiatives like ‘Video Branch’ helped in customer acquisition and reducing the time for closing a transaction?

Video Branch is a free service offered to all IndusInd bank customers that enables a face-to-face highly personal video conversation with branch manager, relationship manager or with centralized Video Branch executive. Easy and convenient to use, Video Branch service offers a wide range of information and transactions that cater to all banking services currently offered through phone banking The customers get the assurance of faster and satisfactory resolution of queries by bank personnel including the service assurance of 30 minutes for select financial transactions.

Video Branch is currently available for Android (2.3 and higher) and Apple mobile devices (iOS 6,7, and higher) in the respective App Stores. It is also available via webpage. Video Branch has been received very positively by the customers. The latest App has been downloaded more than 17,000 times on the Apple and Google Stores in a short span of time. The App has received a rating of 4.3/5 on the Google Store with several encouraging comments from the customers.

Due to its simplicity to operate and personal touch, we have seen usage by customers of all ages. In fact, older customers including Senior citizens who find it difficult to travel to branches have been extensively using the Video Branch to get their banking services. Many customers have now made IndusInd bank their Primary banking partner due to the ease of banking with us. The Non Resident Indian (NRI) customers in particular have found the Video Branch to be a very convenient means of reaching out to the bank from their country of residence.

We also launched digital branch at Cyber city Metro station, Gurgaon which is a unique combination of bringing human elements with digital elements working together in socially engaging environment. This branch has been setup in a Digital theme design with architecture and real estate reflecting this theme. Starting with the signage on the outside of branch to entry into branch, consumers are greeted with digital signage integrated with streaming contents over network. All human and digital elements inside the bank have been  integrated around this theme.