Reported by: banking|Updated: October 1, 2020
Divyesh Dalal: The pandemic has resulted in radical changes in the existing behaviors and has accelerated digitization. While it has impacted transaction banking flows, it has provided the opportunity for us to pivot a segment of our customers on to our digital channels. We have seen an increased acceptance of digital solutions as people opt for online banking over branch visits. We continue to provide online support to clients and enable them to sign up for these solutions and continue conducting their business as usual. Further, most of our digibank customers have continued transacting on our online channels.
What new opportunities have the lockdown created for transaction banking in India?
Given the need for social distancing, there has been a clear shift towards online platforms for the consumption of goods and services. This shift has resulted in an increased demand for online payment solutions for both consumers and corporates. Corporates and SMEs are, therefore, opting for UPI and other card solutions and are making the shift from cash to digital. Covid has accelerated the acceptance of digital payments in the country. In addition to payments, corporates have also adopted online supply chain solutions which have helped them manage supply chain financing requirements. They have leveraged these platforms to provide liquidity and financing support to their supply chain partners.
Can you share any recent case studies/examples on how DBS Bank’s transaction banking service has helped its clients?
We recently partnered with Transport Corporation of India to facilitate real-time payments for truck owners through the DBS RAPID (Real-Time APIs by DBS) solution. The solution allows them to receive instant credits into their bank accounts, which they can then swipe at terminals or withdraw cash using ATMs, thereby enabling them to live hassle-free and manage their expenses with ease. Through the solution, the company saves over 450,000 hours annually by reducing unwarranted delays.
What about collaboration with fintechs to empower your business?
We continue to collaborate with fintechs to identify opportunities for building innovative solutions across the payments supply chain and data exchange. We have successfully partnered with supply chain fintechs across categories, as well as industry platforms that drive efficiencies in cross-border trade. Our customer banking division explores fintech collaborations as well.
What new technology has DBS Bank deployed or is planning to deploy for transaction banking?
We continue to invest in technology across our platforms, so we can enable business for our clients. We work towards leveraging data to drive efficiencies for customers amid the current evolving scenario. We have deployed a customized UPI solution for smaller merchants to collect funds. It is a scalable solution and enables merchants to collect payments faster in the present time. The bank has also deployed supply chain solutions, such as supplier payment services across pre and post shipment, to help corporates to manage their working capital more efficiently. The paperless and contactless solutions are more empowering given the challenging times. We continue to invest in technology, which helps us further our objective of driving digital adoption across ecosystems that we participate in.
What initiatives have been taken to target new customers and new geographies?
After our conversion to a local, wholly owned subsidiary in March 2019, we have continued to expand our footprint across the country. With over 34 branches across 12 states, we have increased customer acquisition in tier 2 & 3 markets, in addition to metro cities. We have also leveraged our capabilities in supply chain to reach out to a larger set of suppliers across the country. The digital outreach overlaps our footprint and enables us to build on the core strengths of online acquisition onboarding and transacting-first clients.
Any improvements in the business scenario after the gradual opening of the lockdown?
We have seen some positive shifts in volumes, as economic activity has picked up with the phased reopening across cities. Overall, while banking activity in the lockdown period has been muted, we have still seen clients migrating more of their funds to us and we have been able to secure a larger share of their wallets. There has been a steady increase in activity across the board, albeit below pre-covid levels.