Tracing Digital DNA

Nafees Ahmed, CIO, Indiabulls group | Friday, 06 October 2017, 10:58 IST

The primary driving force has been the Government of India initiatives in the space of Digitization. Without tendering significant investments into the government’s digital initiatives, big strides cannot be taken in shaping the financial markets of India. The unique platforms of Aadhar, UPI and Digilocker provided by the government can be leveraged by any industry to develop its digital base. We have successfully integrated with all these to lay an entirely digital lending platform. Thus, moving forward there won’t be much difference in a financial industry or manufacturing industry. The fundamentals might be specific but the mode of operations will be defined by the technology itself. So going forward every industry has to be technology centric.

"The fundamentals might be specific but the mode of operations will be defined by the technology itself. So going forward every industry has to be technology centric"

This year Analytics and AI have been the focus area of the organization to improve customer service and process efficiencies. We have already begin its integration in our systems in form of Facebook Chatbot, after conducting due market research and base lining the target customer segment of 25-35 years age. AI is something that cannot be implemented overnight as it takes time to evolve. Basis the interactions with the customers the information is refined and the database becomes increasingly rich. The Zen-X people are so clung to social networking media that we found social media to be the ideal channel for catering them. They can just apply for a loan simply chit-chatting over the Facebook Chabot.

The chatbot has been handy in achieving two business objectives - The first being allowing applying loan over the popular Facebook channel via the chatbot and second being customer service. As part of the application process questions of normal application form now appear in the form of questionnaire as the applicant chats along. For instance, depending on if you apply as a salaried customer or Self-employed customer the next question is intelligently put across to you. It’s a dynamic approach of seeking customer information and in parallel his application form is being completed. As part of the customer service as well, the bot has reaped huge business benefits. Prior to its launch the customers had to call up Customer Care for any service issues. With launch of Chatbot self-service the customers can re-dress any such issue keying in the information over chat. Nearly 15% of the customer base has developed over this channel catering our target segments. Even for the 45% of the customers who find it little difficult to share information their data comes in handy to study their social behavior.

In the financial services industry when you are in lending business it is vital to identify the digital behavior of the customers, for which there are tools available in the market to run a behavioral analysis. We have strongly coupled with all such tools in addition to major digital service providers both government and others to lay forth an e-mortgage platform -which is first of its kind in the Indian sub-continent and it also takes into consideration digital behavior of the customer using AI. With the launch of e-Home Loan platform we have spearheaded the digitization of the entire loan cycle from e-Apply to e-Disbursal. The end to end digital platform has overcome myriad limitations of loan processing such as: sequential processing, physical availability of customers and third party vendors, document upload etc. The loan sanction time has been brought down from 21 days to 48 hours. This has allowed the business to strike a significant increase in revenue over the previous financial year and chip in to the organization vision of augmenting loan book to 2x of the current. Technological adoption was a huge challenge especially for the Sales and the Operations. This was propelled through training programs set up by HR team, to educate them on the process changes and upgradations.

Due to digitization and mobility solutions launched for field teams, need for huge infrastructure has dwindled, allowing them to function on the move. Initially with data centers being located mostly off-shore, regulations from various regulators prohibited customer data storage outside Indian boundaries. However, with the advent of international cloud storage providers in India the predicament looks sorted, though financial institutions still are not that comfortable storing data on cloud. So as initial move the non-critical applications are being moved onto cloud, with the critical applications still present in their own Data Centers. The comfort is still longed for. Trust, however, between the organization and the customers is intact and holds value to any business institution. To conclude, gradually everything will move to cloud and the customers won’t have to download any application. And this is just a transition phase.

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