ICICI Bank’s CTO on how the bank is rein­vent­ing it­self in an era of con­sumer­iza­tion

With the huge rise in so­cial me­dia adop­tion and a rapid growth in mo­bil­ity, cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions have changed dra­mat­i­cally. In this new era of bank­ing where a bank needs to be om­nipresent across all touch­points, ICICI Bank’s CTO, Mukesh Jain, tells In­for

InformationWeek - - Contents - SRIKANTH RP tweet @srikrp Mukesh Jain CTO, ICICI Bank



How has tra­di­tional bank­ing changed over the years, and how ICICI Bank is tak­ing the help of tech­nol­ogy to main­tain its com­pet­i­tive edge? Over the years, tra­di­tional bank­ing has evolved con­stantly mov­ing from a man­ual ledger-based sys­tem to back of­fice au­to­ma­tion; branch com­put­er­i­za­tion; core bank­ing; and fi­nally to the present model of a mul­ti­chan­nel en­vi­ron­ment. This jour­ney has be­come more chal­leng­ing as well as re­ward­ing, given the coun­try’s large size, vast di­ver­sity and spread of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion. The new cus­tomer is more ag­ile and ex­pects the bank to walk that ex­tra mile and as a re­sult, a new era of bank­ing is be­ing de­fined. A bank is ex­pected to be om­nipresent at all the touch­points through POS so­lu­tions, In­ter­net bank­ing, mo­bile bank­ing, so­cial me­dia and at the same time, be al­ways

We be­lieve that tech­nol­ogy can make a sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ence in meet­ing bank­ing needs of new cus­tomers”

avail­able, 365 days a year.

We be­lieve that tech­nol­ogy can make a sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ence in meet­ing bank­ing needs of new cus­tomers. ICICI Bank has kept up pace with ever-evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy, which it­self is un­der­go­ing sig­nif­i­cant changes driven by rapid growth in mo­bil­ity, dom­i­nance of so­cial net­works, in­creased cloud com­put­ing, etc. We have used th­ese new tech­nolo­gies to un­der­stand the chang­ing needs of the cus­tomer and ap­plied them in per­son­al­iz­ing cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tions. ICICI Bank has also been in the fore­front in driv­ing so­cial me­dia ini­tia­tives. How has so­cial me­dia helped the bank in in­creas­ing cus­tomer en­gage­ment? So­cial me­dia has been seen high trac­tion from users. For ex­am­ple, Face­book re­cently crossed 1 bil­lion monthly ac­tive users. To lever­age this, we have launched a Face­book ap­pli­ca­tion, which al­lows ac­cess to bank­ing func­tions. This app em­pow­ers the cus­tomer to ac­cess his ac­count on Face­book. The bank has al­ready built a strong pres­ence on Face­book with ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 mil­lion fol­low­ers and is con­stantly en­hanc­ing its bou­quet of of­fer­ings through this chan­nel. Gart­ner, a U.S.-based in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy re­search and ad­vi­sory com­pany, has pub­lished that ICICI Bank’s Face­book bank­ing is one of the best bank­ing ap­pli­ca­tions on a so­cial net­work. Please elab­o­rate on some of the re­cent tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives un­der­taken by the bank, and ex­plain how has this helped in im­prov­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion? ICICI Bank al­ways re­sponds to chang­ing cus­tomer be­hav­ior and pref­er­ences by launch­ing so­lu­tions to

meet cus­tomer re­quire­ments. Here are some of our re­cent ini­tia­tives, which are help­ing us meet the needs of our as­pir­ing and grow­ing cus­tomer base: Tab Bank­ing: ICICI Bank has cre­ated a tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion on tablets which en­ables a cus­tomer to open a bank ac­count from home or of­fice us­ing tablets in less than 24 hours. Th­ese tablets are also equipped with prod­uct videos in­tro­duc­ing cus­tomers to var­i­ous prod­uct fea­tures. We have suc­cess­fully rolled out more than 4,000 tablets in 20 cities for sourc­ing of sav­ing ac­counts, re­sult­ing in in­stant ver­i­fi­ca­tion of doc­u­ment proofs, elim­i­na­tion of phys­i­cal col­lec­tion of doc­u­ments and re­duc­tion in ac­count open­ing time. iWish: iWish is a goal-based flex­i­ble re­cur­ring de­posit that can be cus­tom­ized to meet the needs and wants of cus­tomers, while en­sur­ing that the cus­tomer earns in­ter­est of com­pet­i­tive rates. They can also share their goals on Face­book with friends and fam­ily who may choose to con­trib­ute to­wards the pur­pose. 24X7 elec­tronic branches: We have set up 24x7 fully elec­tronic branches aimed at pro­vid­ing sim­ple, ef­fort­less and con­ve­nient bank­ing to our cus­tomers. Th­ese branches en­able cus­tomers to un­der­take real-time trans­ac­tions like cash de­posits, cash with­drawals, cheque de­posit, fund trans­fer, open­ing fixed de­posits, gen­er­at­ing bank state­ment and other trans­ac­tions. Th­ese branches are also equipped with video con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­ity which al­lows with in­ter­ac­tion cus­tomer ser­vice staff when re­quired. eLocker: It is an on­line stor­age fa­cil­ity avail­able on ICICI Bank’s In­ter­net bank­ing plat­form to store elec­tron­i­cally scanned copies of im­por­tant phys­i­cal doc­u­ments, in PDF or jpg for­mats, for fu­ture re­trieval. iBizz: ICICI Bank has launched a cor­po­rate mo­bile bank­ing app, iBizz, for cor­po­rate cus­tomers. This so­lu­tion al­lows cor­po­rate clients to meet their bank­ing needs, as well as uti­lize trans­ac­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties. With iBizz, cor­po­rate clients are now able to ap­prove work­flow­based fund trans­fer trans­ac­tions on their phones, re­sult­ing in bet­ter funds man­age­ment. iBizz is sup­ported on Ap­ple iOS and An­droid mo­bile plat­forms. How have ini­tia­tives like Tab Bank­ing helped in cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion and re­duc­ing the time for clos­ing a trans­ac­tion? Tab Bank­ing gives a po­ten­tial cus­tomer the con­ve­nience of open­ing his bank ac­count at home or of­fice. Us­ing a tablet equipped with mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity, our ex­ec­u­tive fills in ac­count open­ing

The bank has al­ready built a strong pres­ence on Face­book with ap­prox­i­mately 2.5 mil­lion fol­low­ers and is con­stantly en­hanc­ing its bou­quet of of­fer­ings through this chan­nel

de­tails, takes the pic­ture of the cus­tomer and the rel­e­vant KYC (Know Your Cus­tomer) doc­u­ments, thereby do­ing away with the need for the cus­tomer to visit a branch. Tab Bank­ing en­ables quick open­ing of ac­count and elim­i­nates re­work due to data en­try and doc­u­men­ta­tion er­rors. ICICI Bank of­fers this ser­vice to its cus­tomers, and en­sures a com­fort­able and pleas­ant ac­count open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Af­ter ini­tial launch across 20 cities, this so­lu­tion is now be­ing ex­tended to bulk sourc­ing of ac­counts for our cor­po­rate cus­tomers, as­set ac­qui­si­tion, cur­rent ac­count open­ing, etc. We see huge po­ten­tial for ap­pli­ca­tion of mo­bil­ity tech­nolo­gies across the or­ga­ni­za­tion in the days to come. Be­ing a bank that deals with a lot of data, how is ICICI Bank han­dling the scale of data and the com­plex­ity? What are the main chal­lenges? To ef­fi­ciently man­age grow­ing in­for­ma­tion vol­ume and sen­si­tive data, it is in­evitable to im­ple­ment tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments in the area of in­for­ma­tion sys­tems and IT in­fra­struc­ture cou­pled with ro­bust se­cu­rity so­lu­tions. ICICI Bank has in­vested in a new cap­tive data cen­ter so that grow­ing re­quire­ments are eas­ily met.

As a cus­tomer is ex­posed to mul­ti­ple chan­nels, there is a need to en­sure se­cured in­te­gra­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent chan­nels. This is achieved by al­low­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion within ap­pli­ca­tions through mid­dle­ware, which are based on mes­sag­ing and SOA tech­nolo­gies. Go­ing for­ward, we are bank­ing upon real-time an­a­lyt­ics, cloud com­put­ing and Big Data tech­nolo­gies to han­dle grow­ing size of data and to pro­vide more per­son­al­ized ser­vices to the clients.

Fur­ther, to sup­port day-to-day re­quire­ments of data an­a­lyt­ics, the bank has cre­ated a group, which han­dles data and gen­er­ates ad­vi­sories to end cus­tomers as well as busi­ness units. Which stage of cloud jour­ney is the bank in? What are some of the ben­e­fits that the bank has got af­ter the de­ploy­ment of pri­vate cloud? The first step for cloud jour­ney is to make in­fra­struc­ture sup­port vir­tu­al­iza­tion. We were the first bank in In­dia who ven­tured into the pri­vate cloud setup through server vir­tu­al­iza­tion. Through this, we have been able to en­sure good avail­abil­ity and at the same time, save cost of hard­ware by bring­ing in ef­fi­cien­cies. The pro­vi­sion­ing of var­i­ous in­fra­struc­ture re­sources in data cen­ter has be­come quite ef­fi­cient and fast post vir­tu­al­iza­tion.

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