Being the leaders in digital payments, YES BANK is committed to the twin national agenda of Financial Inclusion and Digital India. Our idea is to bring futuristic technologies into banking and make life easier for customers, says Ritesh Pai, Chief Digital Officer, YES BANK, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
Financial Inclusion plays a pivotal role in India’s banking strategy. How does YES BANK support this cause in the digital era?
At YES BANK, we believe that the true power of digitisation lies in making a difference to the lowest common denominator in the society and we remain committed to the twin national agenda of Financial Inclusion and Digital India. YES BANK as a leader in digital payments has taken several laser focused initiatives for financial inclusion such as:
- Digitisation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) – YES BANK has developed an end-to-end solution for automating fund disbursement thereby ensuring timely payment to the end consumer and easy reconciliation.
- Digitisation for ASMITA Scheme – YES BANK partnered Government of Maharashtra for developing the ASMITA App and mobile wallet to entirely digitise the subsidy payments and facilitate distribution of napkins across the State. Digitisation of the entire process is aimed at increasing sanitary napkin usage in the state from 17 to 75 percent.
- Creating a Cashless Ecosystem at AIIMS Rishikesh – YES BANK has digitised all types of cash payments on the premises of AIIMS, Rishikesh, making it the FIRST AIIMS campus to go fully cashless.
- Enabling Smart Cities -YES BANK launched Unified City Smart Card, a cashless payments solution for Nashik City in partnership with the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC). The card, linked to UPI and digital wallet, supports QR, Bharat Bill and Aadhaar enabled payments. Moreover, the bank re-engineered existing processes and automated them to remove manual interventions.
- Enabling PIN-less Aadhaar ATM service – YES BANK partnered with NEARBY Technologies, Fintech to offer AEPS solutions and the innovative ATM NEARBY services to customers across India. Using the PayNEARBY mobile application on a smartphone, a retailer can become an Aadhaar ATM / Aadhaar Bank Branch for cash withdrawals and deposits by a customer. In total, YES BANK clocked 2.9 million transactions valuing 6.9 billion from all the AEPS Partners.
- Digitisation of Yellow RevolutionYES BANK has implemented an end-to-end supply chain automation solution linked to digital payments for the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (MSRLM). The unique solution is designed to automate the entire supply chain management from procurement to distribution to facilitating instant digital payments for various stakeholders involved. The joint initiative will help in increasing the production and supply of eggs across Maharashtra state, whilst augmenting income generation capacity of stakeholders and providing a transparent low-cost process for procurement of the quality product.
- Digitisation of Fair Price Shops (e-PDS Programme) – Under the programme, YES BANK will onboard 40 percent of all Fair Price Shops in Maharashtra, spanning 12 districts like Palghar, Thane, Pune, Kolhapur, Latur etc. benefitting more than 20,000+ ration shop owners and over 70 lakh citizens. The bank will engage Fair Price Shops to provide banking services such as small-value cash deposits into any bank account including Domestic Remittances and withdrawal from any bank account via Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS).
The bank has partnered with the Government of Maharashtra for empowering ration shops. Tell us about the project and its progress.
Establishing its leadership position in digital payments yet again, YES BANK is proud to partner Government of Maharashtra to further the state’s financial inclusion programme while helping augment the income of Fair Price Shop owners. The bank remains committed to improving last-mile inclusion and translating financial access into enhanced convenience and usage for smoother delivery of Government to Citizen (G2C) services through simple digital solutions. The bank will engage Fair Price Shops to provide banking services such as small-value cash deposits into any bank account including Domestic Remittances and withdrawal from any bank account via Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS).
This joint initiative with Government of Maharashtra will help Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) users who have a card but do not necessarily have access to POS machines or ATMs, to easily access funds from their bank accounts to buy daily essentials with simple biometric authentication. The programme aims to digitally empower 20,000 plus ration shop owners in Maharashtra to increase revenue opportunities by extending last-mile banking services to 7,00,000 plus citizens.
YES BANK has joined hands with 14+ Smart Cities. How are you promoting Digital India through this?
We are pleased to partner with several smart cities municipal corporations to augment the delivery of G2C services and fast-track merchant payments through digital payment solutions and offer enhanced convenience of financial transactions. The bank has partnered with Smart Cities like Nashik, Udaipur, Puducherry and Diu to provide various Digital Banking solutions like smart cards, wallets, end-to-end G2C service.
Also, as a part of its newly launched YES SCALE Smart City Accelerator, the bank is inviting startups from around the world to collaborate with technology leaders like Bosch and Dell EMC and work on problem statements provided by respective Smart cities viz. Gurugram, Chandigarh, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Aurangabad, Nasik, Warangal, Karim Nagar and Puducherry. With these partnerships, we re-affirm our commitment to the Government’s initiative of propelling digital payments in India.
What are your views on BharatQR? Do you think it is a secure mode of transactions? Interoperability and Standardisation are two key aspects of any payment system to become popular.
Bharat QR has both the ingredients and can enable merchants to accept payments through Debit, Credit Cards and UPI in a safe or secure manner. The advent of Bharat QR has enabled Banks to take merchant acquiring solutions to a new set of small merchants who otherwise cannot afford costs of operating a POS terminal and largely use cash for transactions. With Bharat QR, these merchants can be on-boarded with a near-zero onetime cost and zero operational costs and will enable merchant to accept payments digitally from any customer having a major mobile banking application or a UPI app. While we have come a long way in creating a payment infrastructure in the form of Bharat QR to take digital payments the mechanism to confirm the transaction to the merchant is not as seamless as that on a POS terminal. With some more technology intervention, this can also be achieved in the coming months.
Technologies namely Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are transforming banking in India. How is your bank implementing these?
We are focusing on something that we call as Future Now. The idea is to bring futuristic technologies to the present banking system and make life easier for customers and we are working on many such projects. For instance- YES BANK was a pioneer in introducing enterprise blockchain implementation for supply chain financing in India.
YES BANK is now redefining several steps in the customer journey through YES RoBOT, India’s first chat bot application furthering not just customer query resolution but also facilitating transactions. Another project the YES EEE project is part of YES Bank’s efforts to utilise data to increase customer satisfaction and drive engagement. It takes the form of a customer engagement programme for the relationship managers at banks, giving them a communication point for the customer.
Recently, YES BANK also launched Datathon, India’s first bank-led data driven innovation challenge, aimed at augmenting YES BANK’s embedded data analytics & ML units to drive rapid prototyping of AI/ML based products, optimise digital product suite, and enhance product/service design and delivery, in an accelerated 100-day period.