How Digital Acceleration in Banking Practices is Advantageous, especially during the Pandemic and in the New Normal?

The pandemic has accelerated the digital banking practices beyond what we have seen in the past, but even before COVID, we have seen many such things in banking. What are your views on how these accelerated digital banking practices is helping, especially during the pandemic and also in the new normal?

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation practices. In the last six, seven months, I see almost a 5X increase in terms of digital transformation adoption practices across industries. Even if you look at the banking perspective, and as a service provider, we interact with our customers in the banking space, and we’ve seen an enormous change happen. And we looked at the industry, the Indian economy one year ago, we talked about a less-cash economy, like to become a cash-less economy. But I think in the last six months, we just accelerated to a cashless economy.

The building blocks of a true digital economy has taken shape. It’s like a reset button. So, all innovation and invention happens, and that’s a big necessity. And this has tested all of us. As an industry, we have figured out that organizations, employees, people have all been challenged to see how we could probably think out of the box and overcome this challenge. This is the critical thing that is happening. In Banking, it’s tested everything in true touchless contactless banking. The whole mix of physical versus virtual versus a digital channel that makes it necessary to see from a customer experience perspective has changed overnight. Because we didn’t have a choice in this lockdown, so it started as a necessity, which has driven the ecosystem adapting to a kind of digital mix. But that’s the moot point.

End -to-End Customer Experience through Digital

However, the big question is, were you really ready to manage to provide an
end-to-end seamless customer experience through digital? Maybe not. This is
testing every bank; every organization to say that, in a true customer lifecycle journey, how do I graduate from CIM (Customer Interaction Management) to CCM (Customer Care Management) to the CVM (Customer Value
Management)?

It has been the challenge that is also in one way into what we must do to
accelerate it. And, one of the key differentiators, empowerment, will always
drive customers till the end. Also, going back to basics, we need customer service because it causes a potential impact on customer experience. In a
lockdown scenario, we suddenly realized that we had done a lot of front-office digital. We had all these bots which are functioning. But what we didn’t do is we didn’t integrate this front office digital transformation innovations to the back office or middle office to provide an end-to-end, seamless experience. That has now opened up tremendous opportunities. And every bank is now accelerating to see how to stitch all these disparate systems together? That’s one thing. The second is that our customers and bankers see how we quickly ramp up in this pandemic? We’ve been traditionally a physical infrastructure- led delivery model; how we can overcome this? But then bankers started experimenting, saying how we can virtually work from home and balance it with data security issues? Can’t, we start co-creating this and how we are getting used to this borderless, becoming a new norm. Now, how to run a borderless workforce with all the security and privacy norms. All these are evolved.

The second significant trend is the entire AI and NLP based cognitive parts, can be parts that surround. But now how do we integrate these standalone bots into the mainstream and into a human-driven process, as all these standalone processes are now getting consolidated. So, overall, we suddenly realizing the power of digital technologies such as AI, ML and self-learning systems as we are leveraging it to drive customer empowerment. All these building blocks that already existed are now coming together for solving all customer problems. We hear a lot of industry buzzwords, like a Digital-first, digital native, or a digital-only organization. It doesn’t mean that digital-first or digital native or a digital-only organization will run the entire customer experience using a machine. However, the best in class customer experience can be delivered by a Bank only by empowering their employees and empowering the partner employees with the critical insights to now being fuelled by cognitive AI technologies to give an extremely delightful customer experience.

Conclusion

Looking at how digital technology can be replicated, and humans will become
the superhuman employees because they’re going to be empowered and
digitally-enabled by cognitive capabilities. This will really help a particular bank differentiate itself from the competition. Using digital transformation, they will be creating a simpler, intuitive, and secure, empowered process for our customers. Ultimately, the success of digital transformation can happen only if we can make it seamless. We need to manage it end-to-end with humanoids or digital workers and human beings working together seamlessly.

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