‘Regulatory guidelines must for securing data’

The regulations in India are forward-looking and positively stringent and I think, from an industry standpoint, it is very important to adopt such guidelines that protect your data assets from any types of threats. We must welcome any prudent security guidelines in place, to protect Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability of data, says Jithesh P V, Digital Banking Head, Federal Bank, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Several new technologies such as Blockchain, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are trending across the banking sector. How do you perceive these implementations?

 There is a lot of work happening in and around blockchain and I am sure blockchain is probably the one technology that would be the catalyst for disruption in the BFSI sector. We have successfully implemented Blockchain for Foreign Inward Remittances and are doing POCs for a few other innovative concepts. Banks today are working hard to reduce the cost of operations, provide unparalleled customer experience, and to have a 360-degree view for real-time decision making. Rapid and intelligent adoption of AI would help Banks to address these requirements.

AI can be used for personalized wealth planning, customer service, fraud prevention and risk management, collections, predictive analysis etc. which would help Banks to reduce operational costs, better customer experience and to speed-up decision making. We have a chatbot on our website since 2015. We are working to create intelligent-bots that cater to various internal use cases.

We also employ RPA to automate various internal processes, which basically involve repetitive tasks. More than 30 processes have been automated using RPA. Machine Learning can be effectively used in Marketing, Customer Service, Investment Advisory, Credit Underwriting and many other areas. All the three technologies are evolving as far as the use cases in the BFSI segment are concerned.

How stringent are the regulations in India in terms of cybersecurity? What are the challenges and strong points?

The regulations in India are forward-looking and positively stringent and I think, from an industry standpoint, it is very important to adopt such guidelines that protect your data assets from any types of threats. We must welcome any prudent security guidelines in place, to protect Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability of data.

Creating awareness among stakeholders about emerging threats, keeping stock of latest threats and continuously improving or building controls at multiple nodes, in a time-bound manner, to tackle such threats are the challenges we face and we are continuously improving our systems and processes to overcome these challenges.

How challenging it is to offer digital banking across all branches in India?

 If the question is on automation in branches, all our branches are digital and under core banking system from 2007 As far as digital is concerned, it has no boundaries and it is not branch dependent. A retail customer can do 90% of his transactions through our Mobile Banking or Net Banking sitting at his home or office. We offer Fed e-Biz, a 360-degree digital omnichannel transaction banking platform for corporate clients.

We also have FedCorp, Corporate Mobile Banking product suiting SME clients. We have always been at the forefront in bringing the best of latest technology to our customers and we continuously upgrade our platforms for meeting the customer expectations. Our branches always serve as a channel for promoting digital theme to our customers.

 What technologies have you deployed for controlling NPA?

Use of data analytics and other advanced tools in underwriting helps in better decision making and this is very important in filtering out accounts that have the probability of becoming NPA. We have matured internal rating platforms which get enhanced on a continuous basis taking insights from patterns and this rating is intelligently used in decisioning. The use of technology helps us in predicting the probability of delinquency and helps us to take mitigating steps in advance.

What innovations have you planned for the rest of 2019?

We are focusing more on the use of Blockchain, AI and ML in the days to come. These technologies can spur innovations in many areas including Marketing, Collections, Underwriting, Cross-Sell, Upsell etc. Partnering with more Fintech Companies is on the cards and we have been working to scale our Open Banking offerings to attract new FinTech partnerships.

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