Mobile First m-Banking Outsmarts i-Banking at Kotak

Deepak Sharma
Deepak M Sharma
At Kotak Mahindra Bank, the employees don’t just use mobile banking, but also assist and encourage customers to use the same, says Deepak M Sharma, Chief Digital Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank, in an exclusive interview with Sandeep Datta of Elets News Network (ENN). “We keep listening to our customers through ratings, feedbacks and app analytics, which help us make changes and enhancements in our existing services,” Sharma adds

What’s your view about the Indian banking system adopting Mobile Banking at a rapid pace?
Unlike in developed markets, where customers graduated from desktop to laptop and then to mobile, India is mobile first country. With rapid growth of mobile handsets and data, mobile is shaping everything around us – be it music, travel, shopping or banking. This has also helped banks bring about 24X7 transaction experience to their customers.
Mobile has helped redefine banking as “not a place where you go but what you do”. It has also provided consumers greater control and flexibility of managing their banking needs. By offering transaction convenience on mobile, banks have seen higher customer engagement, stickiness and product holding ratio. Mobile has also helped banks become more innovative in offering new and customised solutions, like booking flight, hotel reservation, recharge and bill payment, through mobile.

m bankingDo you think Mobile Banking is actually taking banks to customers in line with the Centre’s endeavour to stimulate rapid transformation in the country?

Undoubtedly, customers can now compare, select and reach banks much easily than before. The government’s push and ecosystems of IMPS, UPI, Aadhaar, Jan-Dhan Yojana, Bharat Billpay (an integrated bill payment system offering interoperable and accessible bill payment service to customers through a network of agents, enabling multiple payment modes, and providing instant confirmation of payment) are also creating more use cases for mobile banking. Banks are using the Trinity of JAM (JanDhan+Aadhaar+Mobile) to bring digital and social identity through mobility, thereby offering all banking and payment services on mobile.

Is it true that Kotak Mahindra Bank has witnessed customer logins through mobile outstripping those doing it via Internet ?
Yes, but that’s an old story for us now, as that happened last May. As we speak, mobile banking login numbers have more than doubled the Internet banking logins! This has happened due to our Mobile-first approach, zero-base design, reduce frictions to ensure easy on-boarding among many other things.

Can you share some statistics on how useful mobile transactions are proving for your bank vis-à-vis other modes of banking transactions?
Today, more than 90 per cent of our retail transactions occur outside the branch. As I’ve shared, Mobile Banking login instances are already double the Internet Banking logins. 46 per cent of our Mobile Banking customers are only on mobile (they don’t use Internet banking). That means mobile banking is helping us engage with more number of customers. It is also helping us in customer retention, risk mitigation, increasing share of wallet, feebased income and cross-selling opportunities.
Products like IMPS, recharge, mStore are already showing much higher volumes and value on Mobile Banking than Internet Banking.

Mobile has helped redefine banking as ‘not a place where you go but what you do’.” It has also provided consumers greater control and flexibility of managing their banking needs

How banks like Kotak Mahindra are encouraging more customers to embrace Mobile Banking? How many of your customers are already using it?
It required a framework approach. On a regular basis we keep adding more features across customer segment apart from improving the front-end and back-end experience. Our employees not just use mobile banking regularly but also assist customers in embracing mobile banking. We keep listening to our customers through rating, feedback and in app analytics. These insights help us build future changes and enhancements. As we speak, we have highest rated banking app (4.4) in the industry. Superior and rich experience helps us drive higher adoption.
We constantly try to understand the barriers faced by customer in adopting the mobile banking and plan to address them. Based on such insights, last year we launched India’s first multilingual offline banking app “Kotak Banking”. Around one third of our bank’s active customers are using Mobile Banking..

Do you think Mobile Banking has actually come of age in India?
I think it’s a journey. While Mobile Banking is leapfrogging, there is long way ahead. We need to ensure there are more use cases built for every customer’s every banking need.

With mobile banking technology rapidly being embraced by Indian customers, what kind of challenges remains unaddressed?
There are continuous challenges around customer education, perceived security concerns, customers comfort with new technologies, etc. The ecosystem is changing very fast and most of the new disruptions are around mobile device. Mobile Banking will need to keep up the pace with that. Creating ecosystem to deliver end to end superior experience will be the key to success in future.


The Banking & Finance Post is an initiative of Elets Technomedia Pvt Ltd, existing since 2003.
Now, Elets' YouTube channel, a treasure of premier innovation-oriented knowledge-conferences and awards, is also active. To Subscribe Free, Click Here.

Get a chance to meet the Who's who of the NBFCs and Insurance industry. Join Us for Upcoming Events and explore business opportunities. Like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.