Exclusive | COVID has induced digital re-imagination across BFSI sector: Biju K, CISO, Federal Bank

Biju K, CISO, Federal Bank

From the Banking perspective, the top most pushing factor during the pandemic is digitisation and it is also promoting a lot of reimagining on how to enable the customer to do the banking on a touchless note, says Biju K, Chief Information Security Officer, Federal Bank.

Biju K, CIO, Federal Bank

In an exclusive virtual discussion hosted during the Elets Nextgen BFSI Virtual Summit, Biju said,  “Banking is a highly competitive sector. One good part of the COVID situation is digitisation across the banking sector. The sector was always enthusiastic about digitisation and the foundation is laid pretty early. Banks are always at the forefront, in terms of adoption of technology.  If you look at the adoption of technology in the banking sector, it is termed as the fourth most digitised sector. So, it certainly indicated that banking has improved significantly in the digital area. Today, the process begins from onboarding of the customer to the entire lifecycle management of the customer as far as digitisation is concerned. Earlier, it was limited to internet banking, mobile banking, and many other customer service areas. Now, it has moved further.”

Excerpts of his address:

 Today, 90 percent of the customer onboarding is done with the digital means.  Besides, all the loans, particularly the personal loans are through the digital mode.  Loans are getting approved instantaneously. Similar, the EMIs and several other things are done through touch of a button.  We can also purchase large volumes and convert them into VMIs instantaneously without any all or SMS.  Further, collections also, not only the loan part but periodic collections are also fully digitised.  Similarly, a lot of digitisation is happening right from physical security monitoring which has been replaced from electronic monitoring type of activity particularly for Kiosks and ATM installations, the digital implementation has gone to a large extent where there are more effective ways of monitoring for e.g. automated triggers alarms which significantly increases efficiency.  As the digital process begins from the onboarding, the chances of errors or frauds both are coming down.  We are witnessing a lot of improvements as digitisation is concerned.


From the Banking perspective, the top most pushing factor is digitisation due to the pandemic and in general also lot of reimagining is happening on how to enable the customer to do the banking on a touchless note. So, in that front, a lot of new initiatives are happening and the management now very well knows the darker side of digitistion are cyber threats. So, on one hands when newer innovation and digitisations are happening on the other hand, putting the necessary controls at place important otherwise it would lead to a major data leakage.  As we all know that banking is a very well regulated area and with the personal data protection act, it obvious that the data security or the cybersecurity spend will increase because we handle more people and larger about of data. It is a kind of balancing act.

Also Read: Federal Bank introduces Pre-Booking Appointments for visiting branches

The pandemic situation has also necessitated alternative work options such as work from home or work from anywhere to ensure business continuity.  Before pandemic, Business Continuity was having alternative infrastructure, such as multiple data centre and the Human Resource aspects were only concerned on lighter matters. But with the pandemic, it now means the availability of necessary manpower and that comes with several inherent risks. So, when were allowing our employees to work from home of work from anywhere, we have to make sure that security is not compromised so for that more investments on the cybersecurity front is needed, particularly on the monitoring angle making the new environment secure.  Because, even if the infrastructure for work from home is available with the company but the scale which is now needed will not be there in most of the organisations.  Another area which is further contributing to increase suspense in the cybersecurity front is the tensions across the borders.  We are increasingly reporting state-sponsored attacks and all.  All together we are seeinf further tightening f the security side.

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