Technology lays no impact on banking basics, but it modifies endgame: Experts

Technology has not changed banking; it has only modified the way it is carried out. Banking basics are still the same, deployment of new-age technologies such as with Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and IoT has only helped in transforming the end product for the consumers, opine banking experts.

While addressing a panel discussion titled as,” Staying Relevant in the Digital Era: BFSI Modernisation with Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and IoT”, during the 4th BFSI CTO Summit organised in Mumbai by Elets Technomedia several banking experts agreed to the fact that banking definitely needs technology to stay in the business and constantly updating the services will help in polishing the customer efficiency.

Terming digital banking as the new necessity, Prasanna Lohar, Head Technology-Innovation & Architecture, DCB Bank said, “Digital banking is now the new traditional banking. The technology that we use today in the banking sector is way different than the technology we used two decade ago. Technology today is the way to connect and best serve your customers as per their requirement. The consumer’s mindset has also gone through a major transition. Smartphones in every hand are transforming the way businesses are done.”

“Thinking about running a business or do banking formalities without technology is unimaginable. We have now entered into an era of branchless banking. When I opted for a bank account, the formality completed in 30 days and I was elated. Today if a bank is opening an account in 20 days, they will be termed as outdated,” he added.

 Talking about the banking basics and the infusion of new technologies, Nikhil Bandi, EVP & Chief Information Officer, Vistaar Financial Services said, “As far as the work profile is concerned, the banking and financial institutions are doing the similar work that there were doing earlier. The only change technology has brought today is modifying the way the work is done. It has infused speed in all the process. For e.g banks are disbursing loans for quite some time now. Before technology, the loan disbursement used to take more than a fortnight but today it is a matter of 59 minutes.”

“Today, just having the bank on your fingertips is not sufficient it is equally important to deploy a technology that gives you relevant information as per your requirement. For instance, if you are talking to your wife about taking a loan or buying insurance, Alexa must listen to you and give your options of the nearby banks. That is the level of technology we want today.”

Fintechs have changed the banking game and making it necessary for banks to deploy the technology. Not just in making your consumer happy, the role of technology is also a mandate now for sustenance.

Speaking on the emergence of Fintechs as the new challenge, Ashton D Cruz, Director – Chief Administrative Officer & CISO, Royal Bank of Scotland said, “Fintechs have emerged as the biggest challenge for banks in the league of digital adaptability. Today, if we are not to imbibe digital advancement, we run into the fear of getting obsolete. There will then be a threat of survival. “Digitisation, nextgen technologies are giving us a superlative support. It is not just streamlining the services for consumers but also helping us stay relevant. I too agree with the fact that banking has not changed. Technology has only modified the way it is done,” he added.

Not just banks but the unconventional counterparts are also into the mode of technology advancement to remain relevant. Explaining the role of technology in terms of Cooperative Banking

Ravikiran Mankikar, Chief Information Officer, NKGSB Co-operative Bank Ltd said, “The cooperative sector constitutes just 5 percent of the overall banking sector. The popular banking sector is just managed by 52 banks. The cooperative sector is in total 1,542 banks. So these 1,542 cooperative banks have to compete with 52 popular banks. So, unless we adopt technologies namely Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and IoT, we will now be able to stay in the game. To be in the game & match steps, it is pivotal to embrace tech-driven innovations.”

“Technology hasn’t changed the banking but it has definitely changed the methodology. Three things important to run banking today are customer acquisition, customer retention and improving operational efficiency. So, if you don’t have the technology, you will have problems with customer acquisition, it will then lead to hurdles in customer retention and you will then finally end up in low operational efficiency,” added Mankikar.

While banking basics are unchanged, embracing technology is definitely going to add extra mileage to banking services.

Ramprakash Ramamoorthy, Member Leadership Staff, ZOHO Corporation says, “NITI Aayog’s Artificial Intelligence report for India says that it is not just AI but it is AI plus x. We are doing banking and we will continue to do banking. Technologies like AI will come as augmented. Technology incubates in the consumers’ in various ways but it is a gradual process. Earlier no one used #AI but now it is a part of every household in the form of speakers, smartphones & televisions. So the constants will always be there like offering loan, IMPS, bank accounts. Technology like Blockchain and AI helps in streamlining the services. They help banking change the end game.”

Watch the complete discussion here:


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