According to Ashish Gopal Saxena, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Jana Small Finance Bank Ltd, they had a digital-first strategy since its launch; today, almost 98% of the bank’s transactions are done through digital channels. Saxena told IANS that Jana carries no legacy infrastructure, and the cloud has opened doors to a new breed of fintech solution providers who offer AI-powered, Cloud-ready solutions which can be deployed quickly and offer better configurability.
Below are the excerpts from an interview:
Question: When it comes to your digital bank strategy, how are you reimagining end-to-end customer journeys?
A: Jana has had a digital-first strategy since its launch, and today, almost 98 percent of the bank’s transactions are done through digital channels. Safety, security, and user experience have been the core tenets of our strategy. Jana was one of the frontier small finance banks to launch video-KYC-based onboarding as a part of its customer self-onboarding platform, DigiGen.
The digital-first strategy allows customers to get full-KYC savings and fixed deposit accounts within minutes in a fully secure manner from the safe confines of their homes. Self-servicing, straight-through processing, and anywhere-anytime access are important “first” principles in our digital ecosystem, and our product launches are tailored around them.
All our employee-assisted onboarding channels are fully mobile-enabled, coupled with deep integration with a host of service providers for KYC validations, AML and Dedupe Checks, Fraud Management, Credit Bureau Checks, customer communication, etc., enabling a seamless user experience.
In keeping with our self-service ideal, we have provisioned a host of services like QR-code generation, e-NACH mandate setup, EMI payments via UPI in partnership with PSPs etc., allowing customers to transact in a safe and secure manner.
To commemorate 75 years of India’s independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Digital Banking Units (DBU) across the nation, and Jana was the only small finance bank to be part of this pioneering endeavour. The bank launched three DBU branches equipped with our DigiGen Platform for self-onboarding, kiosks, cash-recyclers, and other digital services.
We are soon launching the next generation of self-service capabilities through our Internet, and mobile banking platforms offering a bouquet of features to our asset customers, enhanced security features during login using biometric and face, alternative secure registration capability, new product offers and fulfilment etc. all of which significantly enhance the customer experience along their end-to-end journey.
We recently launched our open banking API platform to extend our integration services to fintechs and neo-banks etc. allowing them to create personalized journeys for their customer base.
Question: With the economy and the credit cycle picking up, how are you ensuring that Jana Bank’s digital transformation is at par with the best digital platforms across the spectrum?
A: Expecting the post-pandemic uptick in the economy & credit cycle we at Jana have significantly invested over the last 1 year in the next generation of our Loan Origination System, which is live for several asset products.
Embedding deep integration with specialized partners for credit appraisal & through product specific score cards the bank offers one of the industry leading TAT for loan approvals while maintaining stringent control over credit quality. In addition, we have re-launched our MSME Supply Chain Finance segment with end-2-end integration encompassing on-boarding, credit appraisal, approvals and disbursement, offering fully integrated corporate programmes for suppliers and vendors.
Coupled with virtual accounts to facilitate EMI re-payments, it offers our MSME customers a seamless digital experience. Recognizing the growing asset business volumes the bank has adopted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) across its back-office operations to automate predictable process steps requiring human intervention, leading to significant business growth, reduced TAT and improved quality.
Question: How are you upgrading your legacy IT stack to make it digital-ready?
A: Jana is a relatively new bank with a long legacy of providing financial services. None of the bank’s enterprise systems is “legacy” but need periodic functional and technical upgrades. To that end the bank follows a very disciplined & rigorous approach to tracking and remediating obsolescence risks associated with any platform. We are migrating our CRM system with a richer workflow management capability, smooth & straight-through service request fulfillment, integrated with onboarding and servicing channels cross-sell, integrated with contact center and powered with Robotics based Automation, and much more. Across our technology stack, we carry no legacy infrastructure. Our integration services are powered by a robust, and modern platform which allows us to extend these capabilities to other partners.
Question: What did Cloud technology allow you to do that you couldn’t do before?
A: Moving ahead with a digital-first strategy, AWS has enabled us to focus on building and integrating applications across the enterprise securely without having to deal with the overhead of hosting and managing technology infrastructure across multiple in-house data centers.
The standardized and simplified management of Cloud infrastructure has infused significant agility in our end-to-end delivery life-cycle with an increased focus on functionality and performance. Significant aspects like scalability, availability, disaster recovery, monitoring etc. are automatically taken care of by cloud service providers with redundancy built-in.
The Cloud has also opened doors to a new breed of fintech solution providers who offer AI-powered, Cloud-ready solutions which can be deployed quickly and offer better configurability. AWS has enabled us towards decreased time to market, make effective use of resources, and improve availability.
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