Technology transforms banking: 3 Indian examples

The Indian banks are rapidly adopting new technologies, platforms and techniques to woo their customers.

Apr 13th 2018

Indian banking sector is seeing a rapid growth, making affordable and easy-to-use platforms for customers to enjoy their banking services. Here we take a look at some quirky and interesting services started by banks leveraging technology:

1) Indusland Bank to start sending alerts via WhatsApp

The private sector lender IndusInd Bank recently announced a pilot with WhatsApp enterprise solution in India to communicate with its customers, making them the first bank to participate in the WhatsApp pilot. The integration with WhatsApp will allow IndusInd Bank to start appearing as a Verified account when it communicates with its customers. The initial test phase will allow the bank to communicate important transaction alerts to the customers on WhatsApp.

It also allows two-way communication with replies to customer messages and provides basic banking services like checking balance, mini statement, and checking reward points.

The messaging on WhatsApp is being rolled out to customers in phases; however, customers can store the official WhatsApp number of the bank and initiate conversation. The bank is also planning to introduce more features with WhatsApp for its retails and business clients.

2) Kotak Mahindra’s first voicebot Keya

Kotak Mahindra Bank launches Keya – the first voicebot in Indian banking system. The AI-powered bilingual voicebot redefines customers’ phone-banking experience.

Keya comes integrated with Kotak’s phone-banking helpline and will augment the traditional interactive voice response (IVR) system. Keya ushers in a new era of customer interaction that combines conversational intelligence with human-like natural dialogue. A bilingual voicebot, Keya is available in English and Hindi.

Now users won’t have to go through the maze of options offered on the traditional IVR system. Additionally, customers who at times would get lost in the traditional IVR menu and abort the call, can now give a simple voice command to Keya and reach their destination. With faster discovery of services on IVR, Keya changes the nature of the engagement.

The initiative is part of Kotak’s digital-first organic growth strategy that will be driven by its ABCD charter that focuses on -- AI-enriched App, Biometric-enabled branch, Context-enhanced customer experience, and Data-empowered design. Kotak’s ABCD charter seeks to make banking a more accessible and rewarding experience for customers by integrating technology, design and customization across products and services.

Keya uses automatic speech recognition, natural language processing and text-to-speech technology. Designed to help customers navigate smoothly and quickly through the IVR, Keya understands the caller’s intent, verifies it and then offers relevant solutions resulting in greater call routing accuracy, reduced call duration and improved customer satisfaction.

Kotak has developed Keya in partnership with Nuance, a Nasdaq-listed firm based out of Massachusetts, USA. Nuance is a global leader that has pioneered conversational interfaces over the last 20+ years, evolving speech recognition to natural language understanding.

3) Yes Bank uses Analytics to offer cashback

Banks, in a bid to better a customer’s experience, introduced cashback offers on several debit cards. YES BANK too didn’t lag behind in introducing it. But the bank wanted to go beyond the regular offers. It wanted to eliminate the unpleasant experience of being bombarded with irrelevant offers for its customers. Personalized offers strike a better chord with customers. YES BANK then embarked on an analytics journey to nail this down.

This is first-in-the-industry initiative capable of giving cashback offers on best brands in the online and offline space. When a customer shops with their YES BANK debit card, they avail up to 25 percent cash back with the help of analytics-based offer recommendations and real-time analytical tracking of transactions and communication to customers about the cashback eligibility via SMS and push notification.

The bank has also made sure that the credit of the cashback to YES BANK Savings Account and YES PAY Wallet is also completely automated right from tracking to settlement.

The bank’s fully automated program offers a hassle-free experience which offers being personalized to their unique needs, where no coupon codes or merchant integration are needed.

The customers need to just transact on the designated merchants, invoking a completely automated process right from tracking transactions to the settlement of cashback. The program has an extremely generic design capable of extending to multiple transaction modes including debit and credit cards, wallet, virtual cards, net banking.

The benefits of the platform are not only for the customers to derive. YES BANK too profited from it. In addition, the project supports Government of India’s drive to move India towards a ‘less-cash’ economy by encouraging cashless spending.