Home Credit India’s focused digital initiatives ensure seamless loan services to customers in Covid times
With digitisation of loan journey for customers becoming one of the top priorities for the consumer finance sector due to Covid, Ladislav Simicek, Chief Information Officer, Home Credit India, highlights how the company has invested resources in its IT infrastructure to offer seamless services to customers
Has the Covid crisis impacted the technology strategy of the consumer finance sector in the country?
Covid has made organisations reshuffle their priorities keeping in mind the customer interest and business sustainability. The lockdown in the country disabled physical movement of the customers and hence the only way a loan could be granted was ‘online’. Digitisation of loan journey for customers was an enabler, hence it became one of the top priorities for the sector. Mobile app was the solution through which we made sure that the brand and the customer experience is not compromised, and the loan journey is completed anytime with ease from customer’s homes. Pandemic brought the businesses to a delayed growth putting pressure on resources, optimisation of the resources and cost became a subject of prime importance for all.
How have you reinforced your digital infrastructure capabilities to offer seamless services to your customers?
It is critical for an organisation to approach its digital infrastructure through the eyes of its customers. Intensive digitisation of customer processes and upping the IT infrastructure were run parallel to each other. It was a top priority for us to offer online solutions to our customers, so they do not have to visit a bank or point of sale to make payments. In the world that works on real time basis, we invested resources in our IT infrastructure to be capable of supporting seamless services to our customers. As an organisation, we embrace the new digital landscape to match our customer expectations and improve the overall experience for them.
What are the common data privacy and data security threats in the consumer finance sector, and as an industry leader how are you setting high benchmarks in data security?
Covid times have created new security concerns for organisations. On one side there is a need to provide the work from home flexibility to the employees or ease of engaging with the brand for the customers; on the other side it was a new opportunity for thread actors as they could search for vulnerabilities and exploit software to get access to corporate networks. Cyber attackers created newer ways to barge-in, some real-time examples are Covid-19 themed phishing emails, malicious mobile apps being built for Covid-19 infection tracking, etc.
We are no different to other sectors as all of us were exposed to similar threats. These times have put focus on regular upgradation of the security systems. We did active IT security and anti-phishing campaigns for our employees and customers, in order to minimise the risk.
Which are the multiple app based solutions you have introduced for your employees? And how have these become key tools during the Covid situation?
Our employees have been working remotely from their homes from day zero of the first lockdown in March 2020. To keep our 14,000 strong workforce connected and engaged, it required us to not only reinforce technologies supporting remote way of working like working on VPN, MS Teams, Yammer, Share point, Darwin box, i-Learn, etc., but also to train people for using all these tools and giving IT support to employees24X7.
Can you share with us your plans for any key technology implementations in the near future?
In the world we are in today, IT is a business essential unlike earlier. As an organisation we must match the speed of expectation of our customers. Hence there will be a focus on implementing innovative technical solutions along with smart utilisation of bots and apps with other technologies.