Digital is the new language of customer experience and our customers expect banking services to be easier, faster, consistent and reliable on the back of smart digital interfaces. Standard Chartered Bank’s aspiration is to be the digital bank with a human touch where the banking experience and human interactions are made more meaningful by digitisation and innovation, says Zuzar Tinwalla, Chief Information Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (India), in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).
The banking industry in India is changing and so are the roles of the C-suite executives. How significant are Chief Information Officers (CIOs) for banks in this tech-driven era?
While the primary role of CIOs is to guide digital transformation while enabling friction-less business, they have additionally been given the significant responsibility of being technology evangelists and advocates for a culture of IT evolution. As a CIO, I find myself at the front and centre of our ongoing digital transformation. I hence seek to drive value by crafting a compelling transformative digital vision and then helping the organisation to make it a reality through active engagement and strong governance. I also focus on fostering relationships inside and outside the enterprise and enabling tight coordination among teams to nurture a synergistic culture.
What is Standard Chartered Bank’s approach to digitisation in India? Standard Chartered Bank’s aspiration is to be the digital bank with a human touch where the banking experience and human interactions are made more meaningful by digitisation and innovation. We aim to utilise digitisation to enable a holistic, seamless experience where our customers feel valued and understood. Digital is the new language of customer experience and our customers expect banking services to be easier, faster, consistent and reliable on the back of smart digital interfaces. Through digitisation, we seek to deliver superior value and a user-friendly experience to our clients while equipping our frontline agents with digital insights and incorporating cutting-edge technology into our processes.
What technologies are being implemented by your bank to streamline operations for customers?
We recently launched Real Time Onboarding, a strategic program enabling end-to-end, real time paperless onboarding, instant activation of accounts and services and instant product fulfilment. The project transforms the client journey from a multi-day, paper-intensive process to an empowering, seamless, digital, real-time experience. The capability enables customers to instantly open an account using their Aadhar details. Additionally, customers can chat online for service requests while Priority and Premium Banking clients can seek advice or resolutions by video conferencing with Relationship Managers. The solution encompasses interactive and responsive channels, automated credit decisioning, agile workflows and real-time interfacing. The product utilises best in class solutions and integrates with the latest technology (Biometric, Optical Character Recognition, Instant Embossing, Digital cards, etc).
We recently announced an alliance with Zoho Books, a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to enhance the corporate banking experience. Through this unique platform, we can help our clients digitise their flows seamlessly and establish direct integration with us, helping them manage their banking activities in a convenient and time-saving manner. This solution is a big milestone in our push to become more client-centric, by bringing accounting needs and corporate solutions under one roof for our clients. On top of reducing data entry, the integration enables direct B2B and cross-border payments, virtual accounts as well as improved reconciliation and security.
Security plays a pivotal role as far as IT-based innovations are concerned. In your view, what are the major scopes and challenges associated with this?
The security of the financial system is increasingly being put to test, with cyber attacks increasing in number and sophistication. Organisations need to review and rethink how they conduct business and protect their assets and data and security needs to be embraced from top to bottom within the workplace. The priority should be not just to collect data, but to secure it while creating security awareness. Organisations cannot rely on a single defence mechanism and require a segmented network with multiple lines of defence. As security risk and complexity increases, so do the resources needed to respond to them. However, while an organisation may have adequate skills and resources, its partners and providers may not, and that creates vulnerabilities. Hence collaboration among all the actors within an ecosystem is required to promote security.
Tell us about your major tech-based future projects.
Standard Chartered Bank has made strategic investments in Ripple and SWIFT to facilitate cross-border transfers for our clients and has been appointed by Ant Financial to be the core partner bank for its new blockchain cross-border remittance solution. We have enabled APIs on our legacy systems and all new services will be API-ready. We are embarking on the cloud journey and looking at leveraging the Internet of Things and Blockchain to develop better supply chain financing solutions. We employ machine learning for analysis of accounts to optimise liquidity management and risk assessment and are collecting all data generated by our Transaction Processing systems into a central data lake to serve as a deep analytics tool and provide a 360-degree view of the customer. We actively reach out to the FinTech community to scout for the high quality solutions and have implemented collaborative projects around risk warning systems, data analytics and customer onboarding.