Banking the Unbanked : Technology the Gamechanger

Ankur Tripathi,
Ankur Tripathi, SVP-Technology, AU Small Finance Bank

“Technology has played a great role in our remarkable success journey of trying to bring the unbanked into the banking ambit. We have revisited our entire enterprise architecture and technology strategy to support additional products and services that make banking a simple, intuitive and pleasurable experience for customers,” says Ankur Tripathi, SVP-Technology, AU Small Finance Bank, in conversation with Souvik Goswami, Elets News Network (ENN).

How are emerging technologies reshaping the BFSI landscape in India?

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), chatbots and blockchain are transforming the BFSI industry in unimaginable ways. Banks are almost becoming technology companies themselves, going by the sheer pace and volume of modern technology adoption in the sector. The rise of small finance banks like AU as well as born-digital FinTech companies have helped in bringing a vast majority of the unbanked into the formal banking ambit, giving a boost to the Government’s vision of accelerating financial inclusion in India.

Improved financial reach, better business processes, increased operational efficiencies and enhanced consumer experience are some of the most common benefits realized by BFSI players in recent times.

Do you think IT leaders in the BFSI industry are making the right, futuristic technology bets?

The BFSI industry has been one of the early adopters of modern technologies. There are many banks today who have enabled voice authentication for phone banking, intelligent chatbots for offering digital consumers a very intuitive banking experience, feature-rich mobile banking apps that also double up as personal wealth management apps, machine learning powered smart targeting algorithms to personalize promotional offers real-time to consumers and so on.

One area where there’s ample scope to improve technology play, is financial risk management and cyber-defense.

What’s the emerging tech play at AU Small Finance bank? How is this making a difference to your customers?

Technology has played a great role in our remarkable success journey of trying to bring the unbanked into the banking ambit.We have revisited our entire enterprise architecture and technology strategy to support additional products and servicesthat make banking a simple, intuitive and pleasurable experience for customers. We have implemented technology solutions that provide a differentiated experience, enhancing convenience for our customers while reducing operational expenditure at our branches.

AU Small Finance Bank has taken a decisive step towards its banking operations by entering into strategic, long-term contracts with technology partners like Oracle who come with a proven solution stack and have established a strong track record within the banking industry globally, over multiple decades.

Tell us more about your technology-led innovation strategy.

As a customer-centric banking institution and an early adopter of technology, our complete focus will be to garner the best of modern and emerging technology to provide ease and convenience to our customers and a banking experience like never before. We currently offer various banking products and services across multiple channels with a focus on providing an enriching digital experience to customers.

Our field staff is equipped with mobile and tablet devices to on-board and service customers from any location. These applications are supported by strong analytics platforms in the backend which provides real-time data feed to customers on offers, recommendations and ‘next best action’ scenarios based on customer priorities.

We currently utilize an enterprise-wide Loan Origination System (LOS), which provides an integrated platform for credit processing, credit management, general ledger, debt management and reporting. LOS also provides features for automation of credit underwriting process, underwriting rule engine, deviation triggers to minimize human errors, branch accounting system and maintaining customer history. This is supported by Mobile application for collections that is being used by 750 + collections field staff and visual analytics solutions for enterprise wide dashboards and reports to track performance.

How critical is the role of strategic technology partners like Oracle in your innovation journey? Can you give us a glimpse of what Oracle solutions you use and how it has helped your business?

The role of technology enablers is very critical and of utmost importance for the banking sector, which is in a way the backbone of our economy. Our core banking platform, Oracle Flexcube, forms the base of our banking platform and integrates with other Oracle products for Net-banking and Data Analytics.

We have implemented Oracle Enterprise Service Bus to manage, provision and consumption of services between AU Bank and external partners and to monitor usage of AU Bank customer behaviour across channels and adapt channel experiences to customer profiles, context, and preferences.

With Oracle Cloud at Customer solution, we’re using Oracle’s modern and enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure technology to try out all our new initiatives before rolling them out to customers.We also leverage Oracle HCM cloud and it has helped our digital journey catering to all requirements related to Human Resources giving an enhanced experience to our internal stakeholders.

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