Banking

Federal Bank–Driving Indian Banking Digitally

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Biju K, Chief Information Security Officer, Federal Bank

The Federal Bank believes in digitally influencing the life of customers with a guiding philosophy of ‘Digital at Fore, Human at Core’. We are at the forefront of the digital banking narrative with the several successful operations of innovative products, says Biju K, Chief Information Security Officer, Federal Bank, in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).

Give us an overview of your services in India.

We are a digitally enabled bank having our presence across the country, with a focus on micro, medium and middle market enterprises. We offer a full range of contemporary products across all segments with a diversified product mix focused towards retail. We also offer a full range of services to non-resident businesses through the IFSC Banking unit at Gift City.

The Indian banking segment is transforming drastically due to technology interface, how has Federal Bank changed in sync with this?

Federal Bank believes  in digitally influencing the life of customers with a guiding philosophy of ‘Digital at Fore, Human at Core’. We are at the forefront of the digital banking narrative with the successful launch and operations of innovative products like Selfie (instant account opening), Lotza (UPI App), missed call banking, online personal loans, etc. We have implemented technology-driven solutions for improving customer engagement by blending data insights through customer analytics and behavioural patterns. Federal Bank’s position at the forefront of the technology-driven transformation of banking in India  has won us awards and accolades from various organisations both at the national and international level.

 With the rise of technology, risk of malware infestation is also high, what measures are being taken by the bank to ensure the safety net requirements in this regard?

We have established robust information and cyber security frameworks for securing the IT infrastructure and systems. Technology solutions are used for preventing and detecting information and cyber security risks including those related to malware. The policies and practices relating to security are periodically reviewed and updated in tune with the prevailing and anticipated threat environment. A wide range of system audits, ranging from Vulnerability Assessments (VA) and Penetration Testing (PT) to concurrent audits to an annual end to end audit of IT infrastructure, are conducted using internal and external auditors for assessing the security posture of the bank. We have also obtained ISO 27001 certification on Information Security Management Systems for critical IT areas.

Digitisation has geared a new momentum in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector,  how can this fuel up the Financial Inclusion?

Financial Inclusion has received a boost with digital enablers such as instant paperless account opening using Aadhaar, Aadhaar enabled payment systems, interoperable mobile payment platform , Unified Payment Interface (UPI), NUUP (National Unified USSD Platform) Services for basic feature phones etc. These combined with the high penetration of mobile services in India can expand the banking services to each nook and corner of the country in a cost efficient manner while providing round the clock accessibility.

Federal Bank, which has tied up with SB Global Educational Services and opened skill training centres in Kerala and Coimbatore, plans to train more number of people in these centres this year, what is the bank aiming at?

Federal Bank started the Federal Skill Academy at Kochi as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in 2015 with the objective of imparting quality technical education to merit oriented candidates from economically underprivileged background. A second skill academy was started at Coimbatore during the FY 2016-17. The three-month course offered by the skill academies include training programme in soft skills improvement and technical skills along with industry exposure to attain IAPMO Plumbing Codes and Standards India Private Limited (known as IAPMO India) Certification which is recognised worldwide. Placement assistance is also provided to the candidates.

Kindly share your future initiatives in alignment with the Central Government’s “Banking for All” vision.

The financial inclusion model of Federal Bank is aimed at extending financial services to the large unbanked population of the country and achieving more inclusive growth by making financing available to the poor in particular, which is in alignment with the “Banking for All” vision of the Central Government. The bank is organising financial literacy campaigns through its 153 rural branches and 22 Federal Ashwas Financial Literacy Centres pan-India. For migrating more individual to digital banking platforms the bank is actively participating in governmnet’s DIGI DHAN Melas and ‘Going Digital’ camps. The bank has recently established a Micro Banking Department with a view to develop and strengthen Self-Help Groups and build financial systems that serve the poor, to promote socio-economic development at the grassroot level through community-based approach.

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