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GenNext customer challenges and enabling frameworks

A panel discussion titled “GenNext customer challenges and enabling frameworks” was moderated by Manoj Agarwal, Group Editor of Banking Frontiers magazine. The panel discussion was deliberate at Banking Frontiers’s conference on card personalization. Dr. Ram Sangapure, Executive Director, Punjab National Bank; Ms. Mudeita Patrao, MD-Financial Services, Accenture; and Ray Wizbowski, VP-Financial Service Vertical, Datacard were the panelists at the deliberation. Here are the excerpts from the discussion.

Manoj: Gennext is in numbers, but the real people are still abstract. They think differenet, their assumptions are different. Banking as a service oriented industry needs to think differently in meeting with Gen-Next aspirations and desires. The advertisement and promotional communication of most financial products are mostly tangible- such as interest rates. But gen-next tends to be about user experience, they want to talk channel experience, time that can be saved. How do financial companies tone or retone their communications- and talk more about service quality and user experience.

Ram: In a bank, basically, two aspects are focused when we deal in advertising. First, the conventional way is to portray the monetary benefits such as interest rates. It becomes difficult to suggest whay they (gen-next customers) want more. The experience and convenience and the basic information are both important. Such customers are smart, and want better monetary returns. Both things such as the tangible and intangible will have to promoted. Convenience- that is whether they transact from the office or home; Whether they prefer mobile banking or internet banking, the bank must provide all the convenience.

Ray: Around the world, finanancial products are being seen as a convenience and also there is a shift that would drive banks on how to reach out to customers. The focus of communication is becoming more around convenience, whether making a payment or an account opening.

Ram: we are comparing traditional banking and the new wave where we would be focusing on new Indians. Multiple banks providing digital, then the comparison would be which bank is offering convenience at the highest rate of interest. Tangibles cannot be compared, intangibles are also important. Gen-next customers are smart and they would want to compare both the tangible and some time the intangibles as well.

Mudeita: The big difference is Gen-Y. I think the difference has come because of the technology and educational shift over the last ten years. Technology has become pervasive and cheaper. The customer already knows the intangibles, are welleeducated and aware of tangibles, the intangibes is what the customer is really keen about knowing and understanding. Banks if they fulfill only financial needs they will become utilitarian in nature. The telecom companies like Samsung and Apple realized the need, fulfilled it and are today making full use of customer education and awareness. Tangibles are bare minimum needs, if you cover the last mile, that service falls under utility too. Accenture has a strong point here. Unless you become a part of everyday life of cusotmer, you become utilitarian, and therefore the brand relevance reduces. Banks should become the customer ecosystem, banks know the retail customer. If the cusotmer wants to have a car loan, it would be pertinent to ask him which car he or she is interested in buying rather than sharing the generic banking product information or the loans offered by the bank.

India is becoming entrepreunerial. How is PNB taking to these GenNext desires?

Ram: At PNB we are approaching top rated educational institutions such as IITs and IIMs. Once a student completes their education, they get either placed or if they are keen to start a business, we start them on with capital. Our objective is to get them higher education, to develop human resources in the economy. Previously IDBI was doing this, I remember we financed technocrats and students from IIT, and used to help them out in setting up units. Most of these entrepreuners, got through the efforts of IDBI. IDBI and ICICI have become commercial banks, but they have done a noble job in creating entrepreuners.

Sridhar Iyer: Banking should be simple and convenient – available any time and any where. For example, if customers prefer to do banking from the comfort of their homes, then it should be made available rather than expecting customers to commute to the bank.
Ray: From a global perspective, SBI introduced a feature banking service, we are seeing banks transformation is a top topic today. Every bank is increasing its physical footprint, so whether it is extended hours, creating zones for services, interactive kiosks, it is changing the way banks are creating the physical brick and mortar. It extends to all generations, everybody wants interactive services. The younger generation seems to be driving it, but we all are getting accustomed to it.

Mudeita: There would be a combination of human and tech experience. Branches would become a center of advisory. Customers would come to the branch because they want something personalized. A survey in the UK is interesting, it states that people who come to the branches are actually Gen-Y customers. Most of them are buying financial products for the first time. We can have big data and analytics, a lot of it would lie around human aspects, and both would be important. Banks should focus on what segment to target, and answer couple of questions- is it my flagship product, is it a digital innovation- especially large banks cannot change everything at a faster pace. When you create a specific branch, What is the purpose of the branch? Is it only customer epxerience? What is the value proposition, these are questions where organizations are still struggling.

Ram: Big Banks, have to cater to different segents of society, big banks like SBI, ICICI if they have branches in rural India too. A digital branch in rural parts may not serve the larger purpose. We have to create modules for branch network. In rural India, an e-lobby concept may not work however. Elobbies are found in metro places and urban areas and they are working perfectly there. eKYC is helping in the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ scheme too. With eKYC, there is no need for printouts of KYC documents. It is made available on all systems. And it typically takes only 10-15 minutes. Offcourse in Jan Dhan since ti was a mission-mode we did it at the fastest time possible. It was not possible to get starter kits immediately. But in a normal course, we send customers passbook, welcome letter, debit cards instantly. We distributed 4 million debit cards- its a great number of volume. We have to cater to different cultures and pscyhce of customers. We first thought mobile BC was a good model, but it didnt work, we need to have a fixed BC in a 5 km radius, there the BC would be physically present. All these kind of modules we must adopt to reach out to people. We have achieved a world record with ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’. We have microatms available, and setup software and hardware in different locations, where there were connectivity issues. We worked with v-sats and small satellites.

Ray: You have competing forces in payments industry today. What parents and kids are doing, snapchat just introduced snapcash- the act of transferring funds to a friend does not involve an ATM at all. It can be done by just using an app. There are pure technologies that help customers use to their advantage. There are many ways of moving money. There is facebook that is coming up with its technology. Customer experience and customer story is seen across every channel- be it ATM, mobile, application and this usage can be used to expose to other different prodcuts to create long term relationship. Most gen-next customers will follow the convenience factor.

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