DIGITAL BRANCHES: GENNEXT STRATEGIES

Reported by: |Updated: February 28, 2015

50% of India’s population is below 30 years and for a banker, enrolling them at the right time for the right products and services is of utmost importance to ensure long term profitability. Digital strategies are most effective to sell innovative products and services. On one hand, digital channels have made things convenient for remote transactions while on the other hand advent of digital branches is taking customer experience to new heights.

Banking Frontiers organized a seminar to deliberate about digital initiatives and channesl such as cards as well as personalization strategies for gen-next customers. The seminar was attended by digital marketing experts, card heads and senior banking professionals. Entrust Datacard was the knowledge partner at the event.

Two panel discussions were organized during the seminar The first panel discussion was titled GenNext customer challenges, and frameworks. The excerpts can be read here. The second panel discussion was about speed and ensuring faster and personalized transactions, the excerpts of this discussion can be read here. Both discussions were moderated by Manoj Agarwal, the Group Editor of Banking Frontiers magazine. EDs, and Heads and LoBs were the active panelists.

Babu Nair, the Group Publisher of Banking Frontier introduced the agenda and the purpose for banks to personalize and thereby offer differentiated services. According to him, digitization is a strong channel for banks to not only acquire new customers, but also service existing ones. He says: “As Mrs. Arundhati Bhattacharya, the CMD of State Bank of India had said in an interview, almost 50% of the country is Gen-Next. After a point in time there may be a reduction in customers, and as the largest bank we (SBI) should open up for new strategies. Similarly, banks should look up to digitization to acquire new customers.”

Ajay 1Ajay Kumar, Head-Marketing – South Asia, Entrust Datacard shared his thoughts on the digital experience. He says: “Digital is an opportunity for banks to understand marketing and customer convenience. Today the biggest challenge for the bank is to acquire new customers and retain them for life time. Banks should deliver instant and personalized services to customers using omni channel touch points , which can provide a “wow” experience. SBI that launched next generation banking with difference called “SBI InTouch” on 1st July 2014 with 7 branches is one bank that is creating a wow experience for its customers. From these branches, a customer can open an account and get a personalized debit card in 10 minutes. The need for innovation is forcing banks to think outside the box and look at omni-channel strategies. Digitization of the customer experience has taken to the market by storm, and for banks jumping on the band-wagon to implement these changes is imperative to stay ahead. Banks have been uncovering in their digital strategy, ways of creating a positive customer experience with personalised service and efficiency.”

He continues: “As part of State Bank of India’s (SBI) efforts to digitise its front-office branch experience, the bank partnered with US-headquartered Entrust Datacard to implement secured and personalised instant debit card issuance solution. Entrust Datacard has implemented Card Wizard, an instant issuance software and CE870 printer in SBI Intouch branches for issuing personalised debit cards instantly.

Ray WizbowskiRay Wizbowski, Vice President- Financial Vertical at Entrust Datacard, shared the experience of his first visit to India. He found it time consuming to wait for a teller to encash a travellers cheque. Ray suggests that waiting can be frustrating and this where digitization would help. Today customers are reluctant to wait, and personalized and digitized services can help banks fulfill customer demands. A recent AITE report that Ray presented elucidated how Entrust Datacard is the market leader. In his brief presentation he also shared the productivity reports and product capabilities of Entrust Datacard’s personalized card printing solutions.

He says: “I see a radical shift in transformation. Over 1000 customers use our services and products. Today banks are looking at identifying a customer, and secondly making payments engaging to that customer. Entrust Datacard helps combine both these elements and identities in payments and finally come to an omnichannel experience. As a report by Mastercard states “85% transactions are still cash based in the world, but 74% of the value is actually a digital transfer. Consumers are increasingly getting comfortable with card and online payments, and there is a growing younger demographics driving cashless transactions. Additionally even governments are pushing financial inclusion whict acts as a key driver for adoption of digital payments. By 2017, we are predicting that 7% of transactions would be card based. Within the Indian payment card market, the circulation of cards is anticipated to double in the next 5 years, and by then will be ranked the 5th largest country by 2017.”
The SBI inTouch Experience:

G ThandapaniG. Thandapani, DGM- Cross Functional projects at State Bank of India delivered a presentation on the SBI inTouch experience post the panel discussion. The SBI inTouch banking experience has been referred to as a compelling banking experience by many consumers and technologists. G. Thandapani, the DGM of payments at SBI delivered a short presentation about the inTouch experience. In his presentation, he referred to the financial revolution that SBI had seen over the past decades. With time, SBI has made a move to different channels. In 1990s during the financial revolution there were only branches that customers would use for transacting. During 1995, SBI commenced with the computerization of branches, and post 1999 the CBS era started. Today the SBI is in an advanced stage of banking. The bank utilizes analytics to understand customer psyche.

Thandapani says: “The inTouch brand promises to bring clarity to financial decision, making it convenient for customers to manage their transactions and provide instant service. It is banking made simple for when customers need it. The SBI intouch experience promises instant account opening and a personalized debit card within ten minutes. All these outlets are used as outlet for acquiring Gen Y and smart affluent customers. Self service is the preferred mode of servicing customers for activities such as cheque-deposits, and account related information such as utility payments and updation of personal details. The kind of processes that we have initiated match the speed of front end devices. The analytics engine, helps build customer records of all young population that is the target group. It is extensively pulled to cross sell and up-sell of many banking products. The entire cross-sell and up-sell is enabled in all the digital outlets. The intouch experience also helps build leads for housing, car, and even bancassurance products such as insurance. The leads are being generated exclusively and helps the business drive additional business. the bank anticipates to make it equal within 2-3 years.”