‘Banking in India is Drastically Transforming with Digitisation’

Kewal handa
Kewal Handa, Chairman, Union Bank of India

With the rise of digitisation and growing usage of smartphones, banking operations, by and large, can now be performed anytime, anywhere. Customers have access to banking apps on Mobile and computers and they are now spending less time on visiting banks, says Kewal Handa, Chairman, Union Bank of India, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Digital transformation is bringing a paradigm shift across the banking sector. As a Public Sector Bank, how exciting or challenging is this transition?

 It’s both exciting and challenging. It offers an alternate platform to reach a larger population at substantially reduced costs and is most efficient in delivery. However, the product has to be friendly, easy to navigate and simple to operate. Promotion of the product and its safety and security are quite challenging.

New technology, if used wisely, helps in strengthening the system, improves efficiency and provide more security to the data. It reduces the risk of Cyberhacking and provides a secure channel.

How new-age technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning or Blockchain is helping the bank in streamlining its services? Is technology implementation helpful in curbing the menace of NPAs and cyber threats?

All new technology, if used wisely, helps in strengthening the system, improves efficiency and provide more security to the data. It reduces the risk of cyber hacking and provides a secure channel.

Financial inclusion is significant for a country like India. How does Union Bank of India (UBI) maintain the alignment between digitisation and underbanked rural areas of the country?

We are very focused towards our efforts in terms of financial inclusion. We use various methods and tools to reach out to both urban and rural population. We generate awareness and also enrol them through various schemes.

Would you like to tell us about your branchless banking initiative? How far has it succeeded in reaching every doorstep?

With digitisation and the use of smartphones today banking operations, by and large, can be done from any place and any time. We have all our apps on mobile phones and computers, and customers are now spending less time visiting banks.

How do you ensure the holistic development of people through your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives especially in rural areas?

Most of our CSR is targeted to the needs of the underprivileged population. Through proper schemes and monitoring, we ensure that more and more benefits reach them. Sustainability and implementation is a critical part of our concept and projects.

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