Who hasn't borrowed from a friend or family in times of need? P2P (peer to peer) lending concept is probably as old as money itself. But why is it attracting so much attention now?
Gamification -- the application of gaming principles and mechanics to non-gaming environments -- is not entirely new to the banking industry. Reward points on credit card usage, for example, is an established practice. But in the digital banking era, where the focus is shifting from enabling transactions to creating personalised experiences, gamification has to evolve into a more strategic and enterprise-centric practice.
In recent years, the Bank, that grand edifice of solidity and security from days past, has come under threat from sources ranging from regulators to customers to fraudsters to legacy technology. And today, it stands on the threshold of a new challenger - the technology-driven non-banking player, which sadly is getting into the heart of its business. The Fintech firms and the technology heavyweight (such as Apple, Google and Microsoft) are the prime challengers in this category.
Youth, like women, is fast emerging as a key focus area for the banks. I have spoken about this in my previous blog "Niche banking services: It's the icing that matters" as well. Banks have identified 2 key factors for which, it is important to acquire these young users and acquire them soon.
How many features of that fancy smartphone do you use on a regular basis? If you're like me, an average mobile phone user, not many, I bet.
The thing is, it's no different with for mobile banking. While mobile technology continues to evolve rapidly - take wearables for instance, which will be the second highest selling consumer electronics product by 2020 - banks are yet to exploit even its existing power to the fullest.
So today, the world's largest transportation company owns zero fleet, the largest hotelier lists more than a million rooms but owns none of them, and the largest movie service doesn't have a theater to its name. And Alibaba - which was only a local e-commerce provider just a couple of years ago - is not merely repeatedly breaking global sales records, but obliterating them.
What these providers have in common is a winning business model that leverages the collective power of a network or ecosystem to deliver incredible experiences at competitive prices to customers, at scale.
As we head into what promises to be a very exciting Confluence, here's what you can expect from Finacle.
Infosys Confluence 2016 focuses on Zero Distance, the approach to operating at the convergence of desirability, feasibility and viability. By uncovering ways for us to connect with end users, by bringing to life desirable ideas and by creating value from them. It's a framework that will allow you to adapt and respond to rapid digital disruption, on the basis of innovation, automation and lifelong learning. At Finacle, we are bringing this spirit to life by enabling our customers to deliver truly digital experiences to their customers. #TrulyDigital Banking is therefore our chosen theme for the Finacle track at Confluence 2016.
One of the hallmarks of truly digital banking - which is the theme for the Finacle track at Confluence - is the role of the vast banking ecosystem. As a variety of banking and non-banking players collaborate and co-create to offer customers universal banking services, they would need a robust, secure mechanism to facilitate their interactions.
One of that mechanism is very likely, the Blockchain. There is a huge amount of interest in this technology, which has the potential to transform the way the industry works. Investment in Blockchain projects is expected to surpass USD 1 billion next year, and a number of banks are already experimenting with it quite seriously. Barclays, for instance, has a partnership with P2P payments provider Circle, which uses the Blockchain network. Then there's Visa, one of the participants in a USD 30 million investment in Chain, a Blockchain development platform. There are several ways in which Blockchain technology can improve capital market transactions, and a consortium of 42 banks is already working with Fintech firm R3 to examine some of them.
At Infosys Zero Distance (ZD) is a quest to progressively reduce the gap between what clients expect of us and what we deliver. Today all our significant actions are measured against the Zero Distance yardstick.
And so when the time came to name a theme for Confluence 2016, Zero Distance was the obvious choice.
At Infosys Finacle, we have been applying the ZD principle to not only get closer to our clients, but also to enable our clients zero the distance to their clients. One way in which we are doing that is by enabling our clients to evolve into truly digital banks. This calls for not only reengineering banking functions around digital technologies, but actually reinventing the banking model to suit a truly digital culture.