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Indian Bank aiming 85% migration to digital/ATM channels

C. Bharathi, General Manager (Digital Banking Department) at Indian Bank, explains the channel strategies and the enabling IT transformations:

Indian Bank aiming 85% migration to digital/ATM channels

Mehul Dani: How has your bank responded technologically to the customers’ changing banking behavior in recent times?

C. Bharathi: Customers’ banking behavior has changed radically. Indian Bank has adapted itself to the changing & challenging environment, understand the shift, and prioritize the technology to respond to the market changes and to build strong customer relationship and ultimately drive growth. The customer’s future behavior and expectation on banking are studied to infuse personalization in the digital interaction channels to provide more digitized banking solutions. Through digital and technology transformation programs, bank has enabled DIY banking services to the customers at any-time and anywhere.

Please quantify the channel size and reach.

Our bank has a network of 3076 ATMs, 1748 BNAs (Bulk Note Acceptor machines), 1961 passbook kiosks across the country as on date. We have 10.1 million mobile banking users, 7.1 million net banking users, UPI registration of 11.3 million, merchant acquisition base at 0.475 million.

How has Indian Bank improved ATM infra and operations?

We are constantly putting efforts for creating robust ATM infrastructure with improved security. We have migrated cash transaction from branch to ATM and are optimizing ATM operations. During last FY, a number of initiatives have been taken. We enabled interoperable cardless cash withdrawal facility in phased manner. Non-viable ATMs were relocated to alternate potential location. There was replacement of old ATMs and we observed reduction of downtime. We have been strengthening ATM infrastructure, done EFT switch upgradation, TLS 1.2 implementation, and cassette swap implementation.

What is being done to increase card usage?

We are aiming for increasing credit card transactions. We have launched 3 variants of RuPay credit card viz. RuPay Platinum, Select & Classic. We have introduced EMI facility in credit cards and provided facility to apply credit card application online through bank’s website. We are improving the debit card features such as card tokenization, e-mandate on debit cards, enabling Rupay card for international acceptance.

How has Indian Bank facilitated digital payment collections by merchants and others?

We have been empowering merchants with seamless payment collection. The bank has introduced SoftPOS, a mobile application- based solution, which enables merchants to accept cash, card, QR and UPI transaction through their mobile phone. Introduction of PoS payment kiosk allows customers to experience totally a contactless payment service. Kiosk allows organizations to reach more people in less time, saving money and manpower.

We have contactless payment acceptance using UPI QR code with voice notification in sound box. We offer digital collection solution using V-Collect, IB Collect, MUP for real time payment status updation and hassle-free reconciliation. This is provided to various educational institutions and government departments. PoS has been extended to RRBs.

How has the mobile app been enhanced?

We have taken steps for popularizing mobile app, elevating the customer experience and increasing the mobile banking, net banking registration. We have optimized and revamped the mobile app and many new features have been enabled. We have added 18 new functionalities in our mobile banking & net banking. Notable features are recurring mandate, UPIGST, UPI International, facility of home branch change, email ID updation, positive pay system and hot listing of debit card. We have extended the chatbot feature through mobile apps which provides the customer an option of banking ‘on the go’.

What are the other digital offerings of Indian Bank?

The bank is promoting FASTag services to its customers. Retail and corporate customers can also be onboarded through online mode, and they can recharge/top up the wallet through FASTag recharge mobile app. We are trying to increase the FASTag sale for which we have engaged DSAs. The bank has launched Digilocker facility to download e-Passbook (front page) and interest certificate. Also, downloading of account statement through DigiLocker is enabled.

We provide customer engagement via chatbots. Support services 24×7 for 365 days is provided through our chatbot ADYA. The chatbot is text and voice enabled to address the queries and requests.

Please estimate daily usage patterns of apps, digital platforms, digital payments, etc of Indian Bank.

How many of your customers are using mobile banking?

As our main focus is on improving the customer journey and experience in banking, we witnessed extensive growth of 20% growth in digital transactions when compared to previous year. Comparing to March 2018, there is increase of 2.5X increase in net-banking users, 6X in mobile banking and 20X in UPI. Around 7.5 million  average daily transactions are happening through IndOASIS. Around 1.4 million  average daily transactions are done through Net-banking. Around 11 million  average daily transactions happen through UPI. Around 7000 users are being on-boarded per day on an average to IndOASIS. The top states contributing to digital business are Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

What has your bank done to create awareness and promote digital usage?

We have been promoting the digital payments and empowering rural economy. We have been creating awareness about digital payments mission including Door-to-door campaigns, workshops in schools & colleges for financial literacy and to educate people about the digital payments. Digital awareness promotions were done by leveraging banners, hoardings, mass SMS and social media platforms.

We have increased incentive/rewards for IndOASIS registration. We have conducted webinars, special campaigns for improving the customer base, digital migration and digital security.

We have been promoting government initiative schemes such as launching B2C UPI digital prepaid voucher for covid vaccination. The bank has identified 5 districts for expanding and deepening of digital payment ecosystem for covering 100% population.

What are the changes made in the digital strategy for customers in the current FY?

There are many strategies for current FY to power the digitization. Our bank has undertaken mobile first strategy. We have achieved 10 million  mobile users through ‘Mission One Crore’ campaign. Presently, our banking registered users is 10.1 mn, with 48% YTD growth.

Mobile infrastructure/ system performance has improved by addressing the issues with infrastructure/technical support providers viz., Oracle, Kony, TCS and Infrasoft. Additional server instances deployed to enhance the infrastructure capabilities to handle increased volume of transactions and user registrations. We have implemented 24×7 monitoring for UPI/mobile banking transactions.

We have enabled new features in mobile banking, which include real time price comparison and shopping (through Cheggout Services), KCC renewal facility, submission of 15G/H and many more.

We have undertaken establishment of digital branches. As a mark of 75 years of Independence Day, we have launched 3 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) as proposed in the budget 2022. We have launched digital transformation project named as ‘WAVE – World of Advanced Virtual Experience’ with focus on ease of doing business, digital business expansion, enhanced customer experience and streamlining existing operations.

What customer-focused digital services are in pipeline?

The bank is soon going for introduction of wearable payment device and virtual debit cards. Shortly, we will launch wearable payment devices (keychain) which are directly linked to the customers’ bank account and function like a regular debit card similar to tapping the card on PoS. This will redefine the shopping experience for our customers with Tap & Pay technology. We will launch virtual debit card shortly to facilitate online ecommerce transactions with convenience & security.


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