Federal Bank’s ‘Fed-e-Studio’ Expected To Churn Out More Revenue
As the technical wave in India surges, banks have opted to adapt to the latest forms of technology, that would be of help to both the consumers and banks.
‘Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven’, says Bill Gates. Seems that banks have been an admirer of the same too, which is why more and more banks are making a transitional shift to become digital.
Going by the same, Jithesh PV, Head Digital Banking at Federal Bank shares his thoughts over digitisation, and how technology has been the flag bearer over the days. He shares his views on the special facilities provided by Federal Bank, the way forward, and a lot more in an e-interaction with Express Computer’s Gairika Mitra.
Digital banking has been in vogue for quite some time. How is Federal Bank offering a different route in this regard?
Today, digital banking is a hygiene in Federal Bank as we have put in place digital solutions for all processes, services, and products. These solutions are meant to derive value for end users by making their life hassle-free and comfortable. We utilize RPA for automating recurring processes and currently, 120 plus processes are running on RPA. We are using enterprise Office 365 and services like One Drive, Yammer, Teams etc., to ensure that our people are connected 24 x 7 wherever they are. This has eliminated the need to be physically present in the meetings or carry laptops everywhere. We have solutions for every segment of customers, be it retail or corporate, and choices too like Mobile or web or host to host services. We are working on a whole new set of advanced technologies like AI, BlockChain, etc. and collaborating with multiple partners to keep ourselves ready for future challenges.
Working towards achieving compelling track records, we have come up with a very mature API Banking platform that can allow our partners to connect with and create innovative products for customers. We are already working with a partner on offering ‘no tension gold loans’ to our customers so that they can avail loans from the comfort of their homes. Another partner is helping us in improvising the Microlending area by disbursing around 2000 loans a month. All of this is done with the help of our Plug and Play API Gateway. By now 92% of our eligible accounts are opened through digital channels and 80% of our transactions are completely digital. We are trying to make efficient use of digitalization to become the ‘FIRST CHOICE’ bank in the country.
How do you think would ‘Fed-e-Studio contribute to the growth of Federal Bank?
At present a customer can do almost everything without going to a branch through our digital channels. Still the first transaction in digital banking is always very important and therefore, Fed e-studio is launched to provide customers who are walking into branch a digital experience within the branch premises. As we progress, Fed e-Studio will act as a customer servicing point which will assist customers to do self-service, buy mutual funds, avail loans and apply for loans, etc. This will help the Bank to enhance its presence across the country with limited infrastructure and resources while making most of the services available 24 x 7.
Could you elucidate on the special facilities of ‘Fed-e-Studio. How time-saving and convenient would it be for people?
Fed e-studio is a self-service Banking kiosk, enabling customers to do faster transactions. We plan to offer all services in the kiosk in phases. Currently, we have NEFT, IMPS, RTGS, Cheque Deposit, Cheque Request, ATM card request, Profile update, statement printing, deposit cheques, and many more services that a customer can perform by himself, given that the customer is properly authenticated. Take the case of a CTS cheque deposit, in Fed e-Studio, the customer can deposit a cheque in 90 seconds and the customer gets a copy of the cheque also as a receipt. This goes directly into the clearing. Overall, we save on the time of the customer as well as the branch.
Recently in the Union Budget, the Finance Minister has thrust on the technology sector, including an 8000 crore mission on Quantum Computing. How do you think would technology reap its benefits in the banking sector?
Banking is the backbone of the economy and the ecosystem is trying hard to bring more efficiency in the system. Embracing new technologies will help Banks to process transactions faster while enhancing the experience of all the stakeholders. Every transaction can become real-time, batch processing would become a thing of the past and banks would be able to save on cost and improve their cost to income ratios.
Is Federal Bank looking forward to embarking on infusing advanced technicalities? If so, what are they like?
Federal Bank has always been in the forefront of technology adoption. Presently, we are working with technologies like Robotics, AI, ML, Blockchain and cloud computing. We are already working with Ripple, IIN, Corda, BIC, etc., as far as blockchain technology is concerned. We have also launched our own block-chain based cross border remittances. We are also investing in our API banking capabilities to make it the ‘First Choice’ platform for Fintech partners and corporate clients.
Talking in terms of revenue, how do you think numbers would surge up using ‘Fed-e-Studio?
Fed e-Studio is launched to complement the branches and we expect most of the branch transactions to move to self-service. Branches can now spend more time per customer, focus on customer acquisition, and cross-selling/upselling products and services. Fed e-Studio will also have the capability for payments and investments in-built, as we move ahead and this is expected to bring more revenue for the Bank.
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