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Ujjivan SFB & MoEngage grow digital footprint among mass unserved and underserved customer segments

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In this Covid times, it is difficult to grow any business, but those who have quickly adopted digital technologies have fared comparatively better. For example Bengaluru-based small finance bank – Ujjivan Bank, which has done exceptionally well during these trying times going the digital way. In a joint interview Ujjivan  Small Finance Bank’s(SFB) Head of Digital Banking, Sriram Srinivasan and Yash Reddy, Chief Business Officer, MoEngage  discuss how  they fast-tracked digital adoption among mass unserved and underserved customer segments using MoEngage technology

What were the key business and technology challenges before Ujjivan Small Finance Bank? Can you share the key highlights of your tech journey?

Sriram Srinivasan, Head of Digital Banking, Ujjivan Bank: One of the biggest business challenges from the technological point of view was definitely the lack of an automation process and the corresponding manual intervention. The implementation of an integrated engagement platform would ensure the siloes between teams are resolved as the solution would create a centralized view of the customer profiles and help in streamlining communications by various teams across channels.

Another problem that emerged was the physical repayment of loans and EMIs, especially door-to-door repayment operations carries out by executives. With the pandemic-induced restrictions on movement, the repayment collectors weren’t able to service customers. This is when Ujjivan Small Finance Bank started thinking of digital onboarding of customers for easy collection of EMIs and installments among micro banking and retail loan applicants. They realized that in order to urge customers to pay using UPI or digital wallets, they needed to communicate the same and run campaigns nudging digital repayments. This was especially hard since the majority of the customers for the small finance bank come from the unserved and underserved segments, with some belonging to remote locations. So, on top of driving digital onboarding, in order to help this segment that wasn’t digitally savvy, the bank partnered with some big names in the telecom space, wherein customers could walk into the partner outlets and repay their loans which then gets reflected in their account in real-time.

Which technology options did Ujjivan Small Finance Bank consider for meeting those challenges?

Srinivasan: The leadership team from Ujjivan Small Finance Bank had prior experience working with MoEngage and implementing its insights-led engagement strategies to drive growth for the banking and finance segment. The fact that MoEngage provided the small finance bank with an opportunity to reduce manual intervention, and meaningfully engage customers while personalizing the banking experience across cohorts was instrumental to the integration.

How did Ujjivan Small Finance Bank evaluate those options and what factors led your bank to finally choose MoEngage Solutions?

Srinivasan: An insights-led approach to customer engagement that provided Ujjivan Small Finance Bank the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the customer, their preferences, affinities, likes, and dislikes. Using this information, the teams at Ujjivan Small Finance Bank were able to create unique customer segments and provide a hyper-personalized, delighftul, intuitive banking experience to their customers. The ability to drastically reduce dependency on different teams, analyze customer insights and create a 360-degree customer view, craft unique segments, and utilize engagement capabilities to personalize experiences across marketing campaigns is what interested Ujjivan Small Finance Bank in MoEngage. The leadership team responsible for executing the integration process also has had great prior experience working with MoEngage, which further helped choose MoEngage.

Can you please describe the solution or solutions from MoEngage that you have implemented? (Please include details such as names of the products)

Yash Reddy, Chief Business Officer, MoEngage: The team at Ujjivan Small Finance Bank leveraged the following capabilities from MoEngage’s suite:

Channel usage viz. push notifications (event-triggered, periodic, one time), SMS, as well as in-app banners

Custom flows (for onboarding and engagement) wherein the team leveraged SMS along with push notifications for a seamless customer journey as a result of which they observed an increase in engagement across mobile and digital banking

Understand customer insights and use segmentation capabilities to bucket customers into different cohorts and run personalized campaigns for each segment communicating essential information such as EMI due date, repayment amount owed, digital channels or physical (nearest partner telecom stores) channels they can pay their EMIs on.

How much time did implementation take? Did you implement it with your in-house staff or with external consultants? Please share details.

Srinivasan: The solutions from MoEngage were implemented using a hybrid method with mostly internal staff responsible for the integration. In terms of the implementation timeline, within two months, the tool was implemented and certain functionalities were in use by the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

What were the issues that you faced during implementation? How did you overcome them? Please describe it in detail.

Yash Reddy: Owing to the seamless product and use case fitment on Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s side, there were no major implementation issues. In fact, the concerns from the infosec team were dealt with immediately to avoid any hiccups in the integration processes. End-to-end support from the customer servicing teams, in the integration phase, is what enabled a seamless integration.

What are the tangible benefits of the solution. Please give quantifiable measures such as time or money saved, productivity improvement, operational efficiencies, resource utilization, customer response time, information access or management improvement, etc. 

Srinivasan: Prior to implementing the customer engagement solution, the majority of the small finance bank’s customer communication was done manually, requiring dedicated resources. After MoEngage implementation, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank was able to save additional manpower which was routed to business operations, optimizing response time, and driving revenue growth. Apart from improving operational efficiency and resource utilization, the marketing teams could reduce their dependency on database teams as the customer and campaign data was readily available on MoEngage to execute strategies accordingly. The team also found that using push notification as a communication channel was economical, thus contributing to an efficient ROI and adding to the bottom line.

Using the insights-led engagement solution from MoEngage, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank was able to:

Onboard approximately 2 Lakh unique customers to digital modes of payments

Improve the conversion rate from digital channels from just 2% to a whopping 18%

Collect ₹123+ Crores of EMI in just 5 months via digital mode

Generate ₹550 Crores worth of total incremental balance through campaigns run

What are the intangible benefits of the solution? (Please give indicators such as user satisfaction, better workflow, ease of manageability, etc)

Srinivasan: The insights-led customer engagement solution provided by MoEngage was not only easy to manage but Ujjivan Small Finance Bank was able to send attractive communication to customers thus leading to an increase in business. Customer satisfaction was very evident from the increase in their mobile app engagement observed by the small finance bank. Leveraging the solution, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank was able to foster better collaboration between the analytics and the marketing teams by dissolving siloes. The manpower that was saved by automating some of the manual processes (with respect to marketing communication), was put to better use, i.e. increasing business opportunities and adding to revenue growth.

What impact in your view has the solution made in terms of providing you with a competitive advantage, or creating or capitalizing on new market opportunities?

Srinivasan: The pandemic heralded a race toward digital transformation across the banking and finance segment. With Ujjivan Small Finance Bank already having technology solutions in place with respect to customer engagement, they had an upper hand over competitors who weren’t as prepared. Apart from being able to leapfrog their competition, the modern-day martech stack and engagement solutions helped Ujjivan Small Finance Bank stay on par with the top-tier banks in the country. The insights-led engagement solution definitely enhanced the quality of services provided by Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, while digital transformation ensured they avoided the adverse impact of the pandemic. The solution also helped in expansion as digital onboarding has no boundaries, and the bank was able to reach customers from remote corners without manual intervention.

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  1. ph social media says

    This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great.

  2. Arun Kumar says

    Wasn’t this the project implemented in 2021 by Ujjivan SFB. If I recall, this news was published in 2021.
    What is the enhancement done to the already existing platform?

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