Technology, building BFSI with transparency and traceability: ED, Kyndryl

Naveen Kamat, Executive Director, Data and AI Services, Kyndryl

The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector has witnessed dramatic changes over the past decade, due to economic crises, a pandemic, and changing regulatory norms, initiated to ensure that the sector combats the challenges and is fit for the future. To understand how technology is playing a part in ensuring transparency, continuity and resilience, Srajan Agarwal of Elets News Network (ENN) talked with Naveen Kamat, Executive Director, Data and AI Services, Kyndryl. During the interaction, Kamat spoke about how Kyndryl is engaging in various digital payment solutions with clients around observability, user behaviour monitoring as well as in helping fraud detection.

How do you perceive the readiness of the Indian banking sector with respect to technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

One of the prominent concerns in the Indian banking sector has been cross-border money laundering and preventing other financial crime such as terror financing. The need for technologies such as blockchain to build more transparency and traceability for money flows is clearly understood. There is also acknowledgement to move beyond static rule-based systems to artificial intelligence to perform adaptive risk profiling, detect fraud rings and provide predictive alerts. While technology adoption itself has been at an experimental stage, the sheer pace at which regulatory requirements are evolving, we should begin to see a lot of push in getting some of this operationalised within the next couple of years.

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With digitisation, a big part of driving to outcomes is the availability of data and having the right data foundation to drive to business outcomes? How is Kyndryl contributing towards that goal?

We are working with major financial institutions around shaping their data strategy and operationalising their data governance frameworks. We are also deploying solutions that can help our customers establish data observability, data provenance and make good data reliably accessible to downstream users that need to have access to those data assets or data products in real-time. To achieve business insights at scale, it becomes very critical to have a future-proof data architecture. We are helping clients drive democratisation of data within their enterprise.

What are the major obstacles faced in large digital transformation projects? What steps have you taken to overcome these challenges?

In any major transformation project, technology is only one dimension of what drives success. This is also equally about process, people, and new ways of working. As you can imagine, there can be resistance to change. We overcome this when we engage with our customers with the right level of executive sponsorship, clearly established outcome orientation and an all-in, co-creation-led approach, where there is broader stakeholder contribution and agreement to the changes that are collectively envisaged.

How can services providers like Kyndryl make a difference or bring in a unique value proposition across the sector?

The success mantra towards any major business transformation must be a deep coupling between new-age thinking and knowing your legacy well. Kyndryl has the unique advantage of decades of experience in managing the mission-critical infrastructure and workloads for finance sector giants globally. In the same breath, it also has the thought leadership, next-generation technology skills, and a vibrant partner ecosystem that helps put together a compelling value proposition – technology-wise and commercially.

Also Read | A real-time data platform can unlock the growth potential in BFSI sector

Digital payments are the new trend. How are you encouraging it?

India has recorded an unprecedented 1 trillion UPI transactions last year. As the volume of digital payments has been growing exponentially, there is a need to improve the customer experience, and at the same time, prevent fraudulent transactions or identity theft. We are engaged in various digital payment solutions with clients around observability, user behaviour monitoring as well as in situ fraud detection.

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