Ro­bust tech plat­form is core for Fino Pay­ments Bank

Banking Frontiers - - Phygital Bank - [email protected]­ingfron­

Fino Pay­ments Bank has a strong tech­nol­ogy back­bone and that en­sures the bank’s abil­ity to scale up its op­er­a­tions. Ra­jeev Arora, who held the po­si­tion of COO at the bank, speaks about the prow­ess of the tech­nol­ogy plat­form:

Apay­ments bank’s of­fer­ing can­not just be pay­ments alone. It needs to of­fer credit, in­sur­ance, sav­ings and in­vest­ments too to make the full cir­cle, feels Ra­jeev Arora, who now heads Fino Fi­nance, and ear­lier held the po­si­tion of COO at Fino Pay­ments Bank.

“That’s why as a bank, we have had a fo­cus on these 4 prod­ucts too since our in­cep­tion. There are lot of un­der­banked cus­tomers. The core conversati­on is whether such cus­tomers can be served. 80% of bank­ing cus­tomers have only li­a­bil­ity re­la­tion­ship. A large num­ber of peo­ple have in­come of `1 lakh or less,” says he.

Arora says Fino Pay­ments Bank is evolv­ing into a phy­gi­tal bank. “We are set­ting up branches not to get cus­tomer trans­ac­tions but to have trust points. Prob­lems are solved at phys­i­cal points. Trans­ac­tions hap­pen through net­work points like mer­chants. The core ethos is min­i­mum trans­ac­tion cost and user­friendly tech­nol­ogy. So, the ethos is sim­ple, pa­per­less and mo­bile first (not just for end cus­tomer, but also for mer­chants, part­ners, etc),” he elab­o­rates.

He then elab­o­rates that the ap­proach is to keep part­ner­ing with peo­ple and stitch an ecosys­tem. “When it came to de­cid­ing on the tech stack, we de­cided to own the front end, be­cause CBS is heavy but we need to con­trol what is vis­i­ble to a cus­tomer or an em­ployee. This is also to fa­cil­i­tate in­te­gra­tion with part­ners. The soft­ware which we have de­vel­oped in house has 18 main func­tion­al­i­ties that are pro­vided by 300 mi­cro ser­vices – all these are out­side the core. So in­no­va­tions are not lim­ited to CBS. 150 peo­ple IT team de­vel­oped all these in­house,” says he.

He be­lieves that since the soft­ware de­vel­op­ment was done in­house, the bank has full con­trol over things such as vari­able charges, user ex­pe­ri­ence and time to mar­ket of new func­tion­al­i­ties and fea­tures.


The bank uses bio­met­rics in a big way and thus it is a gate­way for oth­ers to in­te­grate through the bank. “So, a cus­tomer does not need to know his ac­count num­ber. Mo­bile as well as Aad­haar num­ber also act as ac­count num­bers and are enough to do any trans­ac­tions. Go­ing for­ward, a cus­tomer just needs to know his nick­name,” says Arora.


FIS is the bank’s tech­nol­ogy part­ner for pay­ments switch and CBS. It is an APIbased in­te­gra­tion with FIS, says Arora, main­tain­ing that the tech­nol­ogy sup­port from the firm has been fan­tas­tic.

The hard­ware is vir­tu­al­ized with blade chas­sis, SAN, etc and is scal­able both ver­ti­cally and hor­i­zon­tally. The bank has its data cen­ter and DR site at CtrlS, one of the lead­ing Tier4 data cen­ter ser­vice providers in the coun­try.


Arora says FIS has an in­ter­nal ar­range­ment with CtrlS un­der which re­quire­ments of host­ing, band­width, net­work de­vices, servers, etc, are taken care of. “We have been with CtrlS & FIS for 2 years and the ser­vice has never been down. While hard­ware for our own ap­pli­ca­tions is ours, CtrlS pro­vides hard­ware for CBS and Switch.” says he.

The bank is now in the process of set­ting up its own se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions cen­ter (SOC). At present this is han­dled jointly by FIS and CtrlS. For an­a­lyt­ics, it has set up a big data plat­form and for vi­su­al­iza­tion it uses SAS. It has also taken FIS fraud man­age­ment so­lu­tion as part of the trans­ac­tion switch.

The bank’s re­quire­ments on the net­work­ing side have been met with swift re­sponse and very quick im­ple­men­ta­tion. The 24x7 re­mote sup­port too en­sures that im­ple­men­ta­tion or trou­bleshoot­ing is done in the least pos­si­ble time. Arora says the bank is de­vel­op­ing a sys­tem whereby it will iden­tify in­ter­nal frauds by ma­chine learn­ing.


He also men­tions that the bank is us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. “There are 2 parts to it. One part of AI is the conversati­on/ en­gage­ment with the cus­tomer. An­other is cog­ni­tive, ie un­der­stand­ing the cus­tomer. We are look­ing at the for­mer and plan to im­ple­ment a sys­tem in 6-12 months. This will im­prove cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and an­swer queries on the go. Tech­nol­ogy is avail­able for in­stant trans­la­tion of voice to text. Cog­ni­tive uses will be for pre­dic­tion and we may use ma­chine learn­ing tech­nolo­gies to build it,” says he.

Ra­jeev Arora main­tains that as much as 80% of bank cus­tomers have only li­a­bil­ity re­la­tion­ship

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