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May 11, 2015

Banking in the Mobile Economy

Posted by Rajashekara V. Maiya (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:45 AM

Mobility is no longer a concept whose potential can be defined merely by enumerating handsets shipped, connections created, apps launched or data consumed. It is a phenomenon that is estimated to have generated a total economic value of almost US$ 10 trillion last year, which makes it the third largest economy in the world after the U.S. and China. I should also probably mention the 11 million jobs that it was directly responsible for creating around the globe.So, how has the mobile phenomenon changed banking and other financial service verticals?

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April 28, 2015

Retail Banking Goes Upwardly Mobile

Posted by Sai Kumar Jayanty (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:30 AM

If the Internet was instrumental in transforming the fundamental dynamics of banking interactions, mobility promises to push the envelope even further. Innovative technologies, from Near Field Communication to Augmented Reality to Social Analytics, are not only simplifying transactions by eliminating traditional pain points, but are also playing a significant role in making banking an immersive experience.

Retail was one of the first industries to be disrupted by the power of mobility, which compelled it to introspect on the role of physical stores in the context of channel-agnostic digital consumers. It's a situation that retail banking is now grappling with as the relevance of the branch continues to come under scrutiny.

It may be a bit too early to write off the branch completely. But it is indeed time to reassess and recalibrate the function of the branch given changing banking dynamics and customer behaviors in the age of mobility. Here then are three trends that will have the biggest impact on the future of retail banking.

Mobility will compel banks to further hone their focus on customers. Early conversations on mobile banking invariably evangelized digital natives over older demographics. But the realization has since dawned that technology adoption is driven by utility rather than age. Mobility not only challenges generalizations but also gives banks the opportunity and the analytic tools to unambiguously establish expectations, motivations and behaviors at the level of individual customers. One example is the mobile Personal Financial Management service from German start-up NumberS that consolidates all user financial transactions from multiple service providers into a unified view to help customers build a comprehensive and personalized financial roadmap.

Mobility has already cut down the need for person-to-person interactions for a whole range of routine banking transactions. This trend will soon extend to complex transactions as developments in mobile biometric technologies deliver more sophisticated and secure alternatives to traditional methods of identification and authentication. Even traditionally high-touch practices like wealth management or advisory, could soon use technologies like augmented reality and video conferencing to make remote interactions as productive and compelling as face-to-face meetings. For instance, IndusInd Bank not only has a digital branch featuring a facility for videoconferencing but has also launched a Video Branch smartphone app that allows customers to connect directly with their relationship managers.

Mobility's biggest impact has been in the area of payments where it has not only delivered explosive growth but has also enabled maximum disruption while significantly raising the risk of disintermediation for traditional banks. Innovation is what distinguishes payment disruptors from conventional banks and this is what banks must focus on if they are to be a part of this huge opportunity. Banks like Turkey's Denizbank are already delivering innovative services to their customers by bundling merchant offers with geo-locational capabilities and payment applications in a comprehensive and engaging solution.

Mobility is both an opportunity and a challenge for traditional banks. Mobile banking is triggering more frequent interactions between customers and their service providers, each of which is an opportunity to build engagement. The challenge for banks is to optimize each interaction to the needs and expectations of that individual customer so as to realize mutual value.

October 30, 2014

The evolution of banking channels in India - II

Posted by Anuradha Mallya (View Profile | View All Posts) at 12:48 PM

In my last post, I briefly discussed the historic evolution of non-branch banking channels in the Indian context. Almost every channel has a tremendous potential for growth, albeit from a small base. Going forward, banks will have to focus as much on the distinct financial needs of vast swathes of the population as on technology and innovation in order to accelerate the uptake of alternative and digital channels.

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October 29, 2014

The evolution of banking channels in India - I

Posted by Anuradha Mallya (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:14 AM

The banking sector's first ATM debuted in the late sixties, nearly five-and-a-half centuries after the world's first modern bank. From there, the pace of automated customer interfaces really stepped up - online banking in the mid-nineties, mobile banking in the early aughts and social media access in 2012. Today, banks are already in a race to conquer the wearables market even though the concept itself is yet to completely break free of the proof-of-concept stage.

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June 16, 2014

Workforce Automation with Mobile Devices

Posted by Balwant C Surti (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:18 AM

Automation is the key to effective selling, and sales force automation is prevalent in the retail industry. Workforce automation is an extension of sales force automation, where every employee works more efficiently using mobile devices such as tablets.

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December 3, 2013

Mobile Wallet - A long way to go

Posted by Pooja Agarwal (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:41 AM

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Last evening I threw a party at a popular pizza joint, in celebration of my promotion. At the checkout, I realized to my horror that I had left my wallet at home and had neither cash nor card to pay with. I had to borrow money from a friend to settle the bill. Had this restaurant signed up for a mobile wallet service, I wouldn't have faced such embarrassment. With the growing numbers of smart phone users and tech-savvy population across the world, mobile wallet adoption should have been a done deal; yet, we continue to carry physical wallets. The reason is that there are a number of bottlenecks hindering adoption by both merchants and consumers.

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November 28, 2013

Do's and Don'ts for Secure Mobile Banking

Posted by Pooja Agarwal (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:17 AM

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On my way to the office, I met an old friend on the train today. During the course of our conversation, I learnt that despite owning a smartphone, she does not carry out banking transactions through it. She doubts if her bank has made mobile transactions completely safe and is biding her time, waiting for the day when mobile banking becomes foolproof.

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September 27, 2013

Tablets for the Bank Workforce

Posted by Balwant C Surti (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:26 AM

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Riding the crest of the technology wave, banks today are making a beeline for tablets for the use of their customer-facing workforce. While most banks have acquired tablets by the thousands, quite a few have gone the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) way. This eagerness on the part of banks to portray a tech-savvy image has in turn fueled the need for ready-to-deploy solutions compatible with tablets. This has thrown up a slew of products, developed by both in-house developers and IT vendors; however, most of them come across as mobile solutions rehashed to suit the tablet.

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June 28, 2013

Banking Fraud! How Prepared Are We?

Posted by Kislay singh (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:41 AM

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In this day and age where self-worth is measured in the number of Smartphones one has owned and lost, I was finally making the transition from "have not" to "have." Having successfully placed an online order for a Smartphone, I was in self-congratulatory mode when disturbing thoughts cropped up regarding the prudence of using my credit card on a practically unknown website. Followed by the inevitable question, "Is my bank doing enough to protect me from fraud?"

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April 26, 2013

Future of Banking - "App" Banking

Posted by Tarun Kishore Sonwalkar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:22 AM

Circa 2000 A.D. A guarded enthusiasm greets the new gadget which goes by the name of "cellular" phone. A pocket-sized wonder which promises to take communication to an altogether new level. Mankind treats it with skepticism - paying money to "receive" calls is not such an attractive proposition, after all.

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April 17, 2013

Internet today, mobile tomorrow

Posted by Balwant C Surti (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:38 AM

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The recent Finextra article, "Consumers remain resistant to digital banking aspirations" resonated well with what I think about social media, mobile banking, Internet banking and branch banking. But I will not dwell on that; I will instead concentrate on what the research and the article say about mobile banking.

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January 22, 2013

Are we ready for m-banking?

Posted by Devleena Chakravorty (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:17 AM

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I became the proud owner of the coveted iPhone and straightaway got down to business, enabling M-banking on my bank account. After installation I was mighty pleased at the prospect of being able to transact from the comfort of my home or office. The actual experience, however, was a different story altogether.  The extremely classy and stylized WP7 app doled out information on branch locations and foreign exchange rates with élan, but when it came to basic account balance information, it was back to the drab old browser screen.

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January 18, 2013

Diversified Channels in Rural Banking Worldwide

Posted by Gaurav Singla (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:59 AM

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Contrary to popular belief, rural financial institutions worldwide are generally profit-making ventures, regardless of size or scale of operation.There are 4,500 cooperative banks in Europe with more than 60,000 branches with a strong rural presence. Raiffeisen Zentral Bank, Austria, is a pioneer in German rural banking with over 12 million clients. France's Crédit Agricole, which merged with CréditLyonnais in 2003, is a global, full-service universal bank, with a stronghold in rural France.

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December 11, 2012

Mobility, where are you headed?

Posted by Chandramouli Kundagrami (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:46 AM

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Mobility, as a concept, has captured the collective imagination of the tech savvy populace.  CEOs and CTOs wax eloquent on their grandiose plans in this domain. A lot has been written about NFC device use, smart kiosks, mobile banking etc., projecting these as the next big thing in mobile and banking technology.  However, I feel the ground reality is far removed from this.  Every time I glance around in stores and malls, I notice that very few people use mobile banking.  I initially wondered if this was unique to India, as we are not a very tech savvy people.  On probing further, I have come to believe that it is a worldwide phenomenon, with even advanced countries yet to warm up to mobility.  Africa, however, is an exception, where SMS-based mobile payment and money transfer is quite popular.

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October 23, 2012

The Mobile to Bank the Unbanked World

Posted by Rakesh Aggarwal (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:47 AM

Today, mobile banking is the toast of the banking world. 

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Why? Because it is more than just a channel, an interface, another window to customers. Indeed mobile banking has the potential to change the future of banking itself. And the lives of those excluded from the mainstream of branch banking. 
Consider a market like India, where 40% of the population is unbanked, but 70% will have access to a mobile phone by 2016, as per Gartner. The mobile has emerged as a viable tool of financial inclusion. What it needs is support, in the form of government policymaking and product innovation, to realize its potential.

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March 30, 2010

Succeeding in UK with the bank-focused model of mobile banking

Posted by Shekhar Kapoor (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:58 AM

Mobile banking is staging a strong comeback in the United Kingdom, driven by smartphones and other 3G enabled devices which promise a rich user experience.  Monitise, the mobile banking specialist, estimates annual mobile banking growth to be a whopping 30%. Mobile remittances are also on an upward trajectory, aiming at £6 billion by 2012.

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