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Startups motivated banks to digitize fast: Yes Bank

Ritesh Pai, Senior President & Country Head, Digital Banking, YES Bank

Digitization is helping banks to reach out to more customers in an innovative way. Dataquest spoke to Ritesh Pai, Senior President & Country Head, Digital Banking, YES Bank to know how Yes Bank has modernized its processes through digitization and other technology deployments. Excerpts…

How is digitization changing the banking space in India?

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Digitization is one of the key elements which enable the banks with traditional processes to compete and meet the customer expectations in this e-com/m-commerce universe. Various initiatives taken up in this space has helped banks to access data across geographies almost near real time and hence we can see improved efficiencies and also reduced errors as there is no loss of information. As a result of digitization, banks now can access customer information at finger tips and revert to the customers on various queries in the matter of seconds which meant reduced TATs and increase customer delight.

How do you see the challenges posed by startups which are competing with banks through their wallet apps?
Startups are not really competition. Startups have definitely motivated banks to move fast on the technology space to offer convenience to the customers. At YES BANK, we actually saw this as an opportunity and started to partner with them. Startups can bring in agility and innovation, banks can bring in governance and offer regulatory support along with robust payment system infrastructure and hence it showed us a clear way that combining our strengths is the best way to go to market and offer services.

Which are the key initiatives undertaken by Yes Bank to digitize?
YES BANK has embarked upon the journey to be “Finest Large bank in India by 2020” and we believe that Customer Service plays a key role in determining the success on this journey. We have identified Core Banking, Digitized Workflows, Intelligence Middleware/Mobility Platform, and CRM & Analytics as four pillars which will determine our ability to engage with customers through various touch points. Over the past few years, YES BANK has been on the journey of automation and digitization of backend workflows and process flows, getting the elements of middleware and mobility platforms in place. Currently, we are running with various implementations around CRM, Big Data Analytics, and Core Banking Upgrade etc. All these are coming up fast and will enable us to move in the direction of offering best in class customer service.  Another area where we are focusing is to partner with already digitized industries to offer banking and payments on their platforms and again here digitized processes and middleware shall play a key role.

In what ways has the whole digitization helped the bank?
As mentioned earlier, the efficiencies grew to such an extent that the bank can now actually achieve scale beating all the constraints like geographical reach, manpower, etc. Especially in the space of payment digitization, we have achieved multi-fold success or disproportionate growth.  With digitized payments platform, a small team can now monitor a business that does a million transactions every month. By partnering with a digitized entity, we now facilitated more than a million users to transact digitally in less than a quarter. This scale was possible only by digitizing the payments and processes. Digitization not only made these transactions STP but these are conducted in risk controlled and error-free environment

How easy or challenging has the digitization process been for the bank?

Like any journey this has been challenging as well, this required a lot of new ideas, investments in technology platforms, changing mindset of internal stakeholders and training employees. At YES BANK, we have created an end state picture after thorough brainstorming and have broken the journey into multiple small blocks. Now we are moving in the direction of putting various parts of this jigsaw to complete the picture.

How do you handle the security of your various apps and digital tools?
While customer education has been one of the approaches, we also need to idiot proof these applications. This can only come from immense understanding of the process, risks and build in controls that can be layered into the digital framework with minimum friction.

What is the total digital spending planned for this year?
At YES BANK, we follow a merit based funding rather than a budget based funding when it comes to investments in technology. Between 2015-18, Bank has invested in Core Banking Upgrade, Mobility Platform, Enterprise Middleware, CRM, Master Data Management, Analytics Platform, Big Data, Credit Card Platform, Digital Channels like Internet, Mobile App, Wallet, Social Media Banking, UPI, BNA, Kiosk Banking etc.  All these simultaneous investments were possible only because of the merit based funding approach by YES BANK

What are the ongoing projects?
Some of the projects at YES BANK: Mobile Banking Upgrade, Core Banking Upgrade, Implementation of MDM/CRM and Big Data Platforms, Enterprise Mobile applications, etc.

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