January - March 2015 61

Where There’s Banking, There’s Cisco

We are forming partnerships with companies to develop technologies for better data analysis to make banking a high-tech experience, says Arindam Mukherjee, Vertical Head – Banking & Financial Services, Cisco India & SAARC, in an interaction with Rachita Jha of Elets News Network (ENN)

Arindam Mukherjee

Arindam Mukherjee
Vertical Head – Banking &
Financial Services, Cisco India & SAARC

Most difficult times for the IT industry are behind now, and terms like business and expectations are becoming common these days. Do you think it is the right time to enter the BFSI sector?

It is an exciting time in India for IT industry to explore and expand into the BFSI sector on account of two reasons: one is the tax structure and second, the BFSI sector is looking up in India. Technology in business process is causing revolution globally, especially in retailing like e-commerce and others. However, there is a different aspect to this technology revolution, too; it is playing a disruptive role in every big business’ conventional way of working. It took around 110 years for a phone to reach 1 billionth customer, 40 years for the television, internet took 12 years and for smartphone, it was barely seven years. So, the technology is expanding rapidly.

It is the banking and insurance sector that would be hugely impacted by the nature of technology expansion. The proliferation of data is occurring in the market, as it is coming from multiple places and sources. A person can do banking from anywhere and with any device, thus making it difficult for banks to understand a consumer’s banking behavior.

How is technology expanding the banking sector in India?

Technology has made banking data-driven. The person, who is sitting on the top of the things, can observe everything, ranging from data, devices to Cloud while carrying out a banking transaction. Since July last year, the new government has been putting in efforts to improve financial inclusion in the banking sector. Every senior executive in the industry discusses about the challenges of achieving the government’s goal.

The infrastructure spend is the main challenge for banks to achieve this goal. For banking activities like customer acquisition and operations, technology would be used extensively. Hence, it is an exciting time to use technology in the expansion of banking sector in India.

What technology Cisco has been offering to banks and what other technologies you are planning to offer in future?

Big Data and device proliferation are the technologies that will be coming to the forefront in the banking sector very soon. For example, a leading bank in Turkey is using a GPS-based location spotting application that offers a consumer better buying options at his location, while an augmented realty app used by the Bank of Australia covering 90 percent of Australia’s property offers suggestions. Cisco is betting on all such devices that can offer Big Data and is forming partnerships with companies for the development of this application for better data analysis and other technology requirements.

Big Data is one area pushing technology expansion and the other is the world of devices. Remote advises, wealth advisor or video calling are the devices that will be used for communication in the BFSI sector in the coming times and will transform the banking methods. These devices would help a consumer avoid frequent visits to a bank branch by providing entire information instantly.

How are banking and financial institutions reacting to the new technology offerings sweeping their working environment?

It has become very important for banking and financial institutions to use these new technologies to remain in business and have a competitive edge. In future, banks would have a complete digital branch, enabling fully digitised transactions. To open an account in these branches, it would be mandatory for a consumer to have a mobile account. Niche boutique services is another core area that would be offered by banks, like payment banks, small banks, etc.

Cisco will play an important role as a technology provider for the above-mentioned tech integration into banking ecosystem. Even today, in banks, if you are withdrawing money or doing any transaction, most of the time it is Cisco device through which it is accomplished. In banking sector, 99 percent of the devices used are Cisco devices, whether it is mobile device or ATMs. Data centers, branch offices, head offices – all run on Cisco devices.

In banking sector, 99 percent of the devices used are Cisco devices, whether it is mobile device or ATMs. Data centers, branch offices, head offices – all run on Cisco devices

How do you handle the security issues with respect to the services you offer to banking and other sectors?

At present, while doing business, more people are getting engaged on mobile and digitally. In such circumstances, security has become a matter of paramount importance and is providing an environment of architecture play that is carefully crafted for various security needs of an organisation. Security depends on how fast and quickly you determine and prevent a breach from proliferating and expanding further. It is another big area of our focus on which we are working. It is possible with the help of a multiple set of architecture products, like inclusion products, network behavior analysis tools, firewalls, and web and e-mail security appliances.

We are also planning to offer video service solutions, which are becoming increasingly popular with every passing day. Nobody wants to read the text, and they are preferring videos for advisories and suggestions for live demos, product reviews and consultancy services. In future, banking will be used through talking while seeing instead of talking while listening. So, Cisco is planning to enter the technology area, where video experience will be used for transforming consumer video experience into enterprise experience.

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