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
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.