Reported by: banking|Updated: November 30, 2020
Edelweiss Group is using AI, ML, and API to rapidly onboard customers and partners:
Edelweiss Group has a customer base of 1.2 million that it services through a network of over 476 offices across all major cities in India. Providing a frictionless customer experience throughout the entire customer lifecycle has been one of its key priorities. Frictionless onboarding starts with a digital (preferably a mobile) form for customers, partners and employees, says Nitin Agarwal, President & Group CIO, adding that it then goes through the process of multiple checks in multiple systems for risk, credit, AML, KYC, etc, and ends with the customer ready to do business with the company. “Throughout this journey, it’s extremely important to keep all stakeholders informed in real-time and manage exceptions. Real-time process KPI tracking across the onboarding life cycle becomes equally important for any organization,” he adds.
Mobile First, Key Platforms
To facilitate this journey for the customers, Edelweiss Group is reimagining its businesses to be truly digital, both externally and internally. Nitin Agarwal explains: “We now think of platforms and not applications and focus on removing information and application silos. We have undertaken a few key initiatives across our businesses with regard to mobile-first, data platform, API platform, ML modelling platform, and low code platform.”
All the customer, sales, and partner interfaces in the group are becoming mobile-first and according to Nitin Agarwal, it helps the group’s customers reach it seamlessly from anywhere and anytime, providing real-time unified information across the ecosystems helps in managing the process in a single view.\
The data platform forms the foundation for the company’s API and ML platforms. Elaborates Nitin Agarwal: “The API platform enables us to seamlessly integrate not only with our internal system but also with our partner ecosystems. Partners are able to hand over information and data and retrieve the status seamlessly and securely. The ML modelling platform is forming the brain of our ecosystem. We are increasingly evaluating our risk, AML, KYC, and fraud check using ML algorithms to enable faster and near real-time onboarding. The low code platform enables us to develop new experiences and deliver new process changes extremely quickly.”
He, however, clarifies that as an organization, the group is moving towards API economy which doesn’t necessarily need RPA.
AI-led E-KYC Solution
All these digital initiatives have enabled Edelweiss group to provide a seamless onboarding experience not only to its customers but also partners, agents, distributors, sub-brokers, and vendors across its business divisions. “Our broking business has been able to quickly onboard new retail investors and open their Demat accounts with relative ease through eKYC, eliminating the need for manual interventions and the requirement to submit any physical documents. Our asset management division is using an AI-led eKYC solution for quickly onboarding new investors for their mutual fund investments. With the API platform, we are able to onboard our digital partners seamlessly within days, compared to a few months earlier,” says Nitin Agarwal.
Cloud As Platform
The key technology choice of the group has been based on principles of mobile-first, design for change and speed, do it yourself (DIY), simplicity of architecture, open platform, scalability, and secure by design. According to Nitin Agarwal, the cloud becomes a natural choice when one considers the adopted principals: “It is cloud not as just infrastructure (IAAS) but cloud as a platform (PAAS). It is extremely simple to design and develop products by orchestrating multiple cloud services without making a long-term commitment. It allows you to experiment with multiple solutions and adopt the best bit. Instant scalability is natural for cloud platforms. We closely partner with two large cloud providers – Amazon and Microsoft – for our cloud needs,” he adds.
As a matter of strategy, Edelweiss group has focused on building in-house expertise, augmented by specialized partners as per needs. “This strategy,” says Nitin Agarwal, “helps to have control over our platforms and architecture without a single technology or vendor dependence. We are able to change and adopt much faster and better. Last year alone, we have completed over 100,000 hours of training across our technology teams to constantly build up expertise and adopt new technologies.”
The group has a team size of 700 IT professionals.
With the speed with which the ecosystem, customer preferences, and technology are changing these days, capex spends are increasingly becoming difficult. For Edelweiss group, its preference for technology spends is heavily inclined towards the pay-per-use model. “We like to believe technology needs change every day and you need to be able to change without making huge locked in commitments to a technology system. Capex spends consider planning and investment in technology for 3-5 years. We actively seek to invest a large part of our technology budget into innovation,” says Nitin Agarwal.