Content automation The must-have killer app for a transformative bank

Ritesh Varma

If the last two years are any indication, banks in India must brace for even more disruptive customer behavior than they have ever experienced.

India has somewhere between 650 to 750 million smartphone users, out of which, according to some studies, around 350 million are mobile banking users. As per Forrester Research, 83 per cent of metro Indian adults with a bank account used their mobile banking app at least monthly in 2022. The average mobile banking user in India logs in 12 times per month.

While these numbers may seem encouraging, reading this as good news for banks is misleading. Most users typically use mobile apps to check their balance, perform funds transfer, or pay utility bills. Many of these activities are rapidly moving away from traditional banking mobile apps, as fintechs (and even merchants) offer a much more seamless option.

Could mobile banking apps become redundant?

While banks are trying to find more innovative ways to increase the usage of their mobile apps, the fact of the matter is that users would not open them at all.

Let’s take a simple fund transfer, for instance. UPI has transformed the way people send money. Users need to scan a QR code or enter a phone number to transfer money rather than log into a mobile banking app and go through the four steps of funds transfer. Banks are trying to make these steps more user-friendly, but their efforts might be in vain, as the apps could soon be redundant.

So, what would customers ideally like to do? Perform banking transactions–apply for any loan, open a fixed deposit account, manage overdrafts, pay EMIs, make investments, manage funds–as seamlessly as possible. They wouldn’t even want to open a mobile banking app.

Soon, we may be confronting a situation where users want to do everything related to banking the way they do UPI today. It’s all a matter of a bank or a fintech finding a way to offer in a transformative way without compromising security and compliance.

But banks need to address another elephant in the room – Documents and media

It may not be readily apparent, but documents (in any or all forms) are the lifeline of a bank. Banks realised this the hard way when the pandemic broke the operations that relied heavily on manual interactions and physical handling of documents, files, and media items.

In 2023, customers embraced everything digital naturally. Now, they don’t want to fill out forms. They don’t want to go through seven steps of digital KYC (any of which can go wrong, suspending the whole transaction in a muchdreaded limbo). They would instead send you all the documents, including IDs and collaterals, in one go and without having to conform to any bank-imposed format. They also expect those to be processed quickly, without having to repeat themselves or resubmit documents ever again. And this scenario is only the tip of the transformative iceberg.

A transformative bank is around the corner. Get ready to make it a reality.

A transformative bank – Automation with a focus on customers and documents

If you wish to be a transformative bank, what do you need to do?

Let’s summarise first: You must be able to offer anytime-anywhere banking, with minimal hassle, to the extent that mobile banking is also transparent to users. You must be able to handle all forms of documents seamlessly and securely throughout the customer journey, again regardless of the time, place, and touchpoint or channel.

For this, you need to:

Offer banking as a service
Technically, it means that all your banking transactions and services must be available in the form of APIs, webservices, or microservices. Banks already offer this for point-of-sale microfinancing or UPI payments, where merchants and customers can transact without directly interfacing with the bank or bank’s mobile app. Imagine enabling that for every banking transaction or service.

Onboard customers, partners, and vendors 100 per cent digitally by automating the processing of all documents and collaterals. If there are physical documents involved, digitise them at the source and ensure tight linkage for compliance.

Offer loans in real-time by automating processes and decisions, enabled by intelligent document processing (IDP) on submitted collaterals, without manual filling of applications by customers, risk assessment, or expert credit checks. This would involve competent content analytics (insights extracted from documents and images through AI), and AI-driven automated decisions and rules management.

Automate management of all documents in all forms (PDFs, images, emails, video clips, and so on) throughout their journey (scanning, printing, searching, editing, maintaining versions, archiving, and storage) by going completely paperless and managing the whole lifecycle digitally. This also means the availability of all transaction details for operational monitoring, audits, and compliance.

Immediately resolve customer issues over any channel (social media, phone, email, web, or mobile). Automate resolutions for a majority of cases. When customer support executives get involved, enable them with authorised access to all the customer and transaction information, including the corresponding documents, in realtime regardless of their time and place.

Integrate all operations within the bank and with merchants, partners, vendors, and government agencies through well-designed digital interfaces, essentially enabling extended digital banking. Enable access to all relevant documents for secure collaborative editing for comprehensive services.

Create innovative offerings and launch campaigns faster in collaboration with merchants and partners.

Content automation: The must-have killer app for transformative banking

We are rapidly moving into an era where incremental automation will not suffice. If you don’t transform banking, someone else will. However, you must also automate content management in all forms and integrate documents and media in your operations seamlessly. That makes content automation a key killer app in your arsenal for transformative banking.

A transformative bank must combine content automation with other technologies, such as process automation, communication management, and artificial intelligence. This will help the bank gain operational efficiency, deliver a superior customer experience, and offer transformative innovation to their customers. It’s only a matter of time.

Views expressed by Ritesh Varma, Global Head and Vice President for Business Solutions Group, Newgen Software

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