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Digital technologies are transforming customer service in the BFSI industry


BFSI is being challenged to re-invent the way it thinks about customer service by constantly changing customer needs and non-traditional competitors. REIMAGINE CX, an event conceptualized by Aspect, HCL Services and Express Computer highlighted some solutions on how firms can remain competitive Jasmine Desai

Sanjay Gupta, Head- Cloud Business, APAC &ME, MD- South Asia & Middle East , Aspect Software
Sanjay Gupta, Head- Cloud Business, APAC &ME, MD- South Asia & Middle East , Aspect Software

The landscape of BFSI is changing very rapidly in India. Between 2014-15, RBI issued 21 banking licenses. At the same time, the Indian BFSI sector is undergoing a massive digital transformation. Born in the cloud startups are changing the way financial products are sold and serviced. Taking note of this digital shift, Aspect and Express Computer, partnered to create ‘REIMAGINE CX’, a conference focused on digital transformation undergoing in the Indian BFSI sector.

Emphasizing on this point, Sanjay Gupta, Head- Cloud Business, APAC &ME, MD- South Asia & Middle East, Aspect Software, in his welcome address at REIMAGINE CX said, “RBI is to bring P2P lending under regulation soon. Presently, lot of thrust in banking is coming from the Government as well. Every village with more than 5,000 people needs to have a physical branch. In such a mind-boggling scenario, what does future of banking look like?” Sanjay stated that ‘Next Gen bank’ models will have intelligent multi-channels. Omni-channel capabilities will need to go a step further and enable relationships, as most of the times, the reason of customer dissatisfaction lies in the back-office.

Ratan Kesh, Sr President and Country Head, Branch Service Delivery, Contact Centre & Service Excellence, Yes Bank
Ratan Kesh, Sr President and Country Head, Branch Service Delivery, Contact Centre & Service Excellence, Yes Bank

Ratan Kesh, Sr President and Country Head, Branch Service Delivery, Contact Centre & Service Excellence, Yes Bank spoke at length about the future of customer service. “B2B and B2B2C is a powerful strategy that the bank is relying on. On the technological front, Yes Bank is upgrading its CBS and CRM which will play a key role in supporting an inclusive and sustainable growth model. Yes Bank also wants to make the web and mobile version of the site very similar. The bank does not have a lot of customer data, but what we really leverage on is the eco-system data like Aadhar, Digilocker etc. The bank is also putting visual assistance in its self-service capability. The challenge is to achieve 90% self-service but also remain personal at the same time Other projects underway are Yes Pay Wallet, Yes Money, Yes Secure.”

The retail banking footprint is expanding in India and keeping up with the trend, Yes Bank is going to expand on its branches. Presently, Yes bank has 860 branches. The bank has relationship management and service oriented strategy. Presently, the bank is ramping up its branches to increase its retail assets.

Touching upon the importance of CX in BFSI, he mentioned that according to a research report, 86% buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. Only 1% feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.

Delivery channels, hence, are changing rapidly. Says he, “More and more customers want video-chat with financial advisors. On the competition front the landscape in BFSI has undergone such a dramatic change that competitors for banks are no more other banks but Amazon, Paytm, Apple Pay, and traditional BFSI players cannot ignore this trend.” .

Joe Gagnon, SVP GM Cloud and Chief Customer Officer, Aspect Software
Joe Gagnon, SVP, GM Cloud and Chief Customer Officer, Aspect Software

He mentioned that 90% customers trust peer references. Customer experience is the main reason people close or open their account. He suggested that banks should formulate a strategy focused on few areas namely modern branch/ ATM, putting customer first, social media presence and enhancing their mobile and online capabilities.

The whirlwind of change have turned banks into a IT company with balance sheet. Joe Gagnon, SVP / GM Cloud and Chief Customer Officer, Aspect Software in his presentation touched upon the core of customer service. He said, “One can easily copy technology of other banks, but one cannot copy customer relationship that the bank has with its customer over a period of time and the way it happens. Banks have to think more about engagement.” Giving statistics, he said that 91% customers would use self-service if it were available. 72% of customers prefer texts over picking up the phone. He stressed the need for BFSI organizations to build a capability set that gives customer choice to navigate the way they want to. “There is lot of under realized value of customers to tap into. The best trait of a successful relationship between a customer and vendor is giving autonomy and be there when they want you. Re-imagining customer experience is about what banks enable customers to do,” he mentioned. According to him, BFSI organizations should make it easy to get answers. They should create domain specific dialogue.

In the panel discussion around transforming Indian BFSI sector Shiv Kumar Bhasin, CTO, SBI mentioned what digitization meant to his organization. He said, “Digitization is not about mobile applications. Our branches are over-crowded, so we are looking at self-service where we can reduce dependency of customers on us. For example, mobile number update is one of the toughest process in banks. That has now been made easy using self-service.” Touching upon the security concern that is on the concern list of every CIO, he mentioned that convenience cannot be ruled out due to security.

Panelists spoke about what more could be done to change the customer experience dynamics. Most panelists shared why the only differentiators will be customer experience.

Hiren Shah, CIO, Reliance General Insurance speaking of his experience of dealing with customer experience said,

“Time is critical in banking. In 2020, 3 out of 4 insurances will sell digitally. Virtual office is the next thing. We are decreasing our branches. We are using drones and healthcare monitoring systems.” Giving his take on security he said that security will not stop people from adopting technology.

Ravi Menon, SVP and Head-Financial Services, HCL Services
Ravi Menon, SVP and Head-Financial Services, HCL Services

Suresh Shanmugham, Head- BITS, MMFSL spoke about initiatives at his organization and how rural banking is changing as customers are getting more aware. “We are using geo-spatial and mapping behavioral patterns of customers. The hype mode is very high in BFSI.” When it comes to boosting innovation within the organization, MMFSL is talking to startups to get innovative ideas. He stated that in rural banking, reach and speed is crucial. In rural areas, people do not even want to give their biometric details. They want NOC that states that the data won’t be misused. And now along with the NOC, they also want the data back. Thus, rural masses are more aware of security implication than imagined.

The event ended with a presentation by Ravi Menon, SVP and Head-Financial Services, HCL Services. He mentioned that BFSI organizations are not at all updated about the financial journey of customers and are thus not able to make timely offers. He stressed and urged BFSI to enhance business model through context aware delivery.

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