Banking Frontiers|May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all markets and industry sectors disrupting daily life globally. However, there has been no inhibition in the flow of cash. In fact, the pandemic has been a catalyst for adoption of digital payments methods. Digital payments in India had jumped 3-fold over the last 2years to 3 billion transactions a month. Mobile applications of BFSI companies have played a key role in this surge.
According to a recent research report by CLSA, within digital, mobile accounts for 50-75% of transactions in volume and value. Already, India’s retail digital payments were expanding - retail volumes at 56% CAGR from December 2015 to December 2019 and value at 30% CAGR.
NEW MOBILE APP FEATURES
BFSI companies have been constantly upgrading their products and services to offer better convenience for their customers with equal thrust on security. Akhil Handa, head - Fintech, Partnerships & Mobile Banking, Bank of Baroda, says some of the recent upgrades the bank has undertaken in its mobile app are fingerprint login, automated assistance, spend analyser, quick view balance, setting up debit card limits for ATM and POS transactions and introduction of pre-login screens for quick access. “We have provided options to apply for various asset and liability products such as FD/RD account opening, subscription to APY, PMJJBY and PMSBY, pre-login link to apply for export credit, etc,” he says.
Future Generali Life Insurance Co has introduced a new mobile app, called ‘Mobile Hub’. The company’s chief marketing and customer officer Rakesh Wadhwa explains that Mobile Hub will have a significantly improved UI/ UX interface for customers to be able to navigate and conduct transactions in a more intuitive way. Some of the new features that are added, says Wadhwa, are an application tracker, access to policy documents and request for policy revival.
Gurpreet Sidana, chief operating officer, Religare Broking, lists the new features of the company’s mobile app: “We have also gone live with E-Pay feature on our mobile app Dynami, wherein our clients can directly transfer funds using internet banking portal of any mapped savings banks to their trading account on real-time with no transactions limit. This has helped both our online and traditional branch clients during the lockdown when physical cheque collection and handling is extremely difficult.”
Sidana says the 3 Es that are there in the app are ease of doing transactions, efficiency and user experience. The company has recently launched facilities for fund transfer and application for IPOs through UPI.
MOBILE APP STRATEGIES
Mahindra Finance offers digital channels to its customers to make EMI payments through various modes available on its online payment platform ‘QuickPay’, which is also available as a mobile app. Customers can adhere to social distancing and pay their loan EMIs from the convenience of their homes using their mobile phones, through any of the convenient modes - net banking, debit card, UPI or wallets. Additionally, customers can check their loan account details, repayment schedule, next EMI due, etc, on the mobile app without having to visit the company’s branches.
Tina Singh, chief digital officer at the company, says there are different language options in the mobile app. “We have updated the app to allow the users use it in 9 regional languages. Now, besides English and Hindi, it is available in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and Oriya. With this feature, we have empowered our rural customers with information on their loans and fixed deposits in their own language.”
K.N.C. Nair, CIO, Muthoot Finance, reveals that the company provides multiple digital channels to its customers for repayments. They can now use internet banking, debit card. “In addition, we have enabled the popular UPI-enabled payment platform Google Pay. For ease of use, customers can skip the registration process and use the QuickPay option for repayment,” adds Nair.
HOW MANY MOBILE APPS?
Some of the companies have different mobile apps to cater to different customer segments. For example, Mahindra Finance has different apps for different stakeholder groups like customers, employees or dealers. For lending and fixed deposits customers, it offers a bouquet of services through its Mahindra Finance customer mobile app.
Tina Singh says with a continuous focus on improving productivity in the operations, the company is using a paperless employee app, ‘SLATE’, which enables field executives to process an application, accord approvals and sanction loans online. It provides instant CIBIL Score and address verification and along with faster approvals, it could drastically reduce disbursement TAT.
The company has also developed a mobile app for its dealer network after a lot of research and understanding of the dealer network and their requirements.
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