BFSI is undergoing dramatic digital transformation, says i-exceed ED S Sundararajan
FSI industry is undergoing a dramatic digital evolution owing to factors such as heightened customer expectations, changing preferences, need for risk mitigation and cost optimization, says i-exceed executive director S Sundararajan in an interview with Mohd Ujaley.
How do you look at BFSI sector?
As technology becomes all-pervasive across industries, the BFSI industry is undergoing a dramatic digital evolution owing to factors such as heightened customer expectations, changing preferences, need for risk mitigation, cost optimization etc. Additionally, the government’s Digital India initiative and the push towards a cashless economy have resulted in financial institutions moving from legacy workflows to newer technologies based on mobile-first strategies, IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain technology, and so on.
We are present right at the centre of all this change. Appzillon has been carefully and intuitively designed to address the challenges enterprises face during their digital transformation initiatives. Our development platform adopts an agile and reusable methodology towards developing digital assets that greatly reduces development time, effort, and cost. Our pre-built digital banking apps leverage our three-decade long experience in developing banking solutions.
What role do you see fintech like yours playing in this space?
We have seen the banking industry evolve from mainframes through mini-computers, virtualisation, and to cloud computing. Back in the day, we had been a strong driving force that revolutionized the banking sector with our world-class core banking systems.
It was evident that the banking sector was constantly evolving and going digital was the next logical step. Observing the power digital technologies would play in transforming our lives, we predicted two factors to drive the wave of FinTech innovation: well-informed tech-savvy consumers and smart devices. And both these factors have one agenda in common – simplified and convenient user journeys.
Today, this holds true: the banking world has realised that it is all about personalization. Consumers no longer want to be present in bank branches but want the bank to come to them with services such as digital payments, loan products, and other retail services.
What is the USP of i-exceed?
When we started out to build Appzillon, we brought in decades of experience in building world-class banking solutions and built a low-code application development platform that would dramatically reduce the effort, time, and cost involved in building digital banking solutions.
i-exceed is the only player in the industry to have a combined offering of a low-code application development platform and pre-built omni-channel solutions for the financial services industry. It addresses digital requirements of both external and internal stakeholders besides offering seamless and automatic integration capabilities with legacy backend systems. i-exceed’s micro-app-based architecture allows the launch of new services and features to existing apps in record time without having to do a full upgrade.
Additionally, features such as Appzillon Digital Repository and Appzillon Customizer help business users to build and customize apps on the fly. With Appzillon, enterprises can considerably bring down the time to market compared to conventional ways of application development.
We are currently working with 2 tier-1 global banks in building enterprise-wide digital solutions that are vastly improving customer experience, increasing operational efficiency and reducing time to market.
Several micro-finance and non-banking financial institutions that got approval from the RBI to start small finance banks are using Appzillon to deliver their full stack of digital banking solutions.
In India, one of the most notable works is with CANDI – Canara Bank’s first fully digital banking branch in Bengaluru and the first of its kind in India. Appzillon was used to build and deliver the customer touch points deployed at the branch. CANDI provides customers with a cutting edge and hassle-free digital banking experience. With just their Aadhaar card, an individual can open a new bank account in a few minutes with mobile and internet banking services activated instantaneously.
The customer authentication takes place using fingerprint scan, iris scan, or an OTP. At the end of the onboarding process, the customer receives the bank card (Master, Visa, or Rupay) customized with an image of their choice. The motive behind this initiative was – offer customers a true digital journey. While in theory, there have been previous attempts at a digital branch, all of them involved some steps that required a customer to visit a branch or wait for a couple of days to get several banking services activated. At CANDI, one could say that the account opening process is instantaneous.
What are your future plans?
i-exceed has raised $2.5 million till date. We aspire to be the trusted partner in the digital transformation of leading banking and financial institutions globally. By 2020, we are planning to expand international presence and enter into 15 overseas markets in the EMEA, JPAC, and NA regions. We also plans to increase offerings and provide targeted solutions for commercial banking and wealth management.
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