Walls To Firewalls The Future Of Banking
Indian Economy & Market|July 2021
Fintech start-up Bharat Pe has been rewarded with a banking license. It raises a lot of questions. What is the ‘future’ bank going to look like? Will the physical walls crumble and give way to firewalls? Dr KS Ranjani and Dr Anjali Chopra conducted a qualitative research with both customers of digital banking services and financial service providers to understand the drivers of depth of digital banking adoption.
Dr KS Ranjani and Dr Anjali Chopra

Bharat Pe, a three-year-old payment bank is all set for 50% ownership of the beleaguered Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank. A start-up has been rewarded with a banking license, which is, to say the least, not very common. A Fintech start-up that will enter banking triggers some interesting questions. Will banks adapt fintech business models? What is the role of banks in future? Or what is the ‘future’ bank going to look like? Will the physical walls crumble and give way to firewalls? To address these evolving questions, the authors conducted a qualitative research with both customers of digital banking services and financial service providers to understand the drivers of depth of digital banking adoption.

We spoke to 20 customers of digital banking across nationalized banks, public sector banks and foreign banks and 10 financial services professionals including bankers and payment solution providers. In-depth interviews were conducted with the help of a discussion guide. The discussions covered the following areas:

• participants’ attitude towards digital banking,

• motivation for depth of adoption and

• impediments to depth of adoption.

Further the authors examined some of the characteristics where peripheral adopters (infrequent and not regular users of digital banking) of digital banking differed from in-depth (active and regular users) adopters.

What do Customers Think about Digital Banking?

“Digital banking is the need of the hour. I no longer need to waste time in bank visit, not to mention that it is also environment friendly as it is paperless.” – Customer, 45 years, Male, Account holder of a Private Sector Bank

“I am in charge of my money, and I can manage it better due to digital banking. I can block my card, open a fixed deposit, transfer funds online without any time constraints.” - Female, 45 years, Account Holder Private Sector Bank

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