Ongoing Technology Disruption Opens Possibilities for Traditional Banks in India

Puneet Taneja, EVP - Banking Operations, Teleperformance Digital Integrated Business Services. The Indian technology ecosystem has come of age, creating opportunities for new platforms to take centre stage and meet evolving consumer demands. A rise in tech adoption has driven economic growth and increased access to resources. These new technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), blockchain, open banking platforms with application program interfaces (APIs) and robotic process automation (RPA). With the potential to increase efficiency, decrease costs and enhance the customer experience, these digital-enabled technologies will result in disruption of the way people do their banking
Over 300 million of the Indian population now have access to the internet and by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be automated and involve some form of AI. Nasscom predicts, consumer spending is estimated to hit $3.5 trillion by 2020 , driven by increased technology access, the convenience it brings and resulting synthesis.

India is fast approaching its era of “digital natural selection”, where technology and society are evolving faster than many organisations can adapt to the changes. Pew Research recently published a study evaluating the role technology will play as more millennials embrace a digital life. One conclusion is particularly extraordinary, nine-in-ten millennials or 92 per-cent own smartphones , compared with 67 per-cent of Baby Boomers and 30 per-cent of the Silent Generation. To put this statistic into greater context, Ernst and Young ran a survey that predicts by 2025, 75 per-cent of the global workforce will be dominated by millennials.

Therein lies the question, how can long-established institutions such as traditional banks remain relevant amongst a younger, and perhaps more demanding customer base, who possess a greater appreciation for technology?

Embracing evolving technologies to enhance customer satisfaction, by providing anywhere-anytime digital banking solutions, will not only benefit banks through cost savings, but also increase customer penetration. According to the Reserve Bank of India Digital Payments report ,
Indians prefer a digital-first approach to banking, with an estimated annual growth rate of 51 percent. Consequently, predictive growth figures estimate India by 2025 could be a $1 trillion market for digital transactions.

These increasing brand agnostic customers are continuously in search of a seamless digital customer experience. One way for Traditional banks to leapfrog into the new era of digital banking is by adopting the latest offerings in technology. Traditional banks are turning to next generation technologies in order to reduce average handling time, optimise response to customer queries and reduce costs. Assisted intelligence solutions, such as chatbots, are predicted to tackle a massive 85 percent of customer service interactions by 2020 .

With large number of positives to be gained for both consumers and organisations, it is no surprise the pace at which innovative technologies are being adopted. However, as traditional banks increasingly become digital, the importance of the human touch should not be forgotten.

Banks are leveraging chatbots to not only transform their customer’s digital experience, but equally relying on these technologies to eliminate previous customer complaints surrounding forced hours spent on hold or promised call backs that never come. Chatbots provide customers with real time communication throughout each touch point resulting in improved efficiency.

Traditional banks that are coming out on top are experience-led with a deep human focus that places consumer needs at the core of their strategy. Customers are keen to experience real time sentiment when faced with assisted intelligence solutions, capable of offering social and emotional interactions, and not just automated responses.
Assisted Intelligence solutions remain restricted in their capabilities and are typically limited to mimicking human conversations rarely capable of helping on very sophisticated issues, having a human touch alongside, offers the unique sentiments needed to keep customers happy.

Accelerating digital transformation will see more traditional banks boost their workforce operations with software robots, freeing employees to spend time on more impactful work. To ensure success, banks must compliment AI driven analytics with human intelligence in a manner that strengthens and does not jeopardise customer experience. Ensuring interactions at all customer touch points result in a retained loyalty and the continued patronage of the business from its customers.

Success in the digital age will continually be tied to how businesses of all sizes are able to achieve economies of scale by focusing on the strategic combination of technology and people to empower employees and drive customer satisfaction. Traditional banks must start finding solutions to provide customers with methods to get in touch and get answers as quickly and easily as possible. Thus, these banks will need to match the dynamic pace while continuing to offer services they have been providing for ages, in new and innovative ways.