Consumers today expect a seamless customer experience: Prashant Mehta, SapientRazorfish

Revolutionary innovations around the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to redefine the way digital payment services are being offered to customers. In an interview with exchange4media, Prashant Mehta of SapientRazorfish spoke about the evolving digital payment ecosystem in the country and more.

by Ruhail Amin
Published - Sep 4, 2017 7:57 AM Updated: Sep 4, 2017 7:57 AM


The digital payment ecosystem has witnessed massive growth in the last few months. The big push came with demonetisation. The move has driven a significant level of awareness and adoption for the first time user and has clearly pivoted a large part of India to experience digital payments. Technology players like Paytm and MobiKwik have benefitted immensely to become formidable brands in a short time. 

 

In an interview with exchange4media, Prashant Mehta, VP & Global Service Line Lead - Systems Integration & Data, SapientRazorfish, spoke about the evolving digital payment ecosystem in the country and more.

Excerpts:

 

How has technology enabled a new payment ecosystem in India?

 

Presently, the Indian financial services industry is in a state of flux with multiple technology, regulatory and demographic factors impacting the way banks and financial institutions conduct business. Consequently, banks are increasingly working to reimagine themselves for this new and connected world by offering a slew of new-age services to their customers. The digital and technological adoption is most prominent in the banking sector, with the intent to create highly personalized customer journeys and the progress has been sluggish. The possible reason for this slow adoption can be that banking executives have been viewing digital transformation too narrowly, often as stand-alone initiatives and ignoring the power of a comprehensive change. Too often, progress is tracked through activity metrics like number of app downloads, clicks per view, etc.missing the big picture on experience completely. 

 

Revolutionary innovations around the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to redefine the way banks deliver services to their customers. Additionally, technologies such as machine learning, conversational UI (like Amazon Alexa), chatbots, blockchain, and cloud native solutions among others have the potential to usher in banking’s next wave of innovation. 

Advances in big data and data sciences are creating a massive opportunity for banks to create a customer data platform that can provide 360 degree view of customers across various data sources. Banks are gradually leveraging all of these technological advancements to gain more contextual insights about their consumers, better understand user intent and become more relevant in each consumer’s life. This adoption, albeit slow, will rapidly change the face of the Indian banking industry. 

 

Has demonetization helped Fintechs own a large part of the digital payment’s market?

 

The level of convenience and frictionless experience with digital payments will see it becoming a payment method of choice. The demonetization move has driven a significant level of awareness and adoption for the first time user and has clearly pivoted a large part of India to experience digital payments. As Fintechs and banks leverage the power of frictionless transaction and deep insights of digital transactions, they can build greater experiences and deeper connect with customers and their needs. In a cash driven system, the insights were missing. This is an opportunity for Fintechs and banks to create unique and customized products and experiences relevant to each of the customers individually. For example, instead of showing the savings account balance, banks could show them the path for meeting their financial goals. By analysing spending patterns combined with CRM data, banks could identify life stage goals and help the customers meet them. The opportunity for a dad to help his daughter stuck somewhere without money by providing a digital payment option is very personal way to connect with the customer. 

 

The reason why Fintechs have a large part of the digital payment’s market share despite of traditional bank’s own offerings is because of their digital native culture. Their understanding of the customer, nimbleness and agility to innovate at a far faster pace sets them apart. Paytm was able to change its product to provide many ways of using the app for small retailers during the days of the demonetization drive, which made it omnipresent. Traditional Banks which are willing to create a digital native and agile culture will innovate, thrive and continue to stay relevant. 

 

How is big data and analytics shaping up the digital payment space in India?

 

Consumers today expect an enhanced and seamless customer experience from all the brands they interact with, be it in the retail sector, automotive, travel or financial services industry. This digital flux, along with advancements in technology has resulted in blurring of boundaries between different industries making it imperative for all businesses to adapt themselves and create innovative value propositions to stay relevant for this particular audience. This holds true, particularly for banks and other financial institutions. 

 

Going forward, IoT devices are likely to play a key role in the way banks deliver services to their customers. Technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, etc. have the capabilities to bring in interesting innovations to the banking industry. Chatbots in particular, will make banking services simpler, cost effective, and in line with how today’s digital consumers operate. All these innovations and advancements in blockchain technology, cloud computing, big data and analytics among others will prove to be the best techniques to give most contextual insights about consumers, enabling banks to acquire the best customers and retain the lucrative parts of their business.

 

With the massive loss of ‘face-time with customers,’ due to rise of online banking systems, traditional bankswill have to rely on the depth of customer knowledge, powered by data and analytics, to come up with real-time reactive offers across all channels. In addition to leveraging analytics and interactive marketing, banks will have to carefully monitor customer voices, their concerns and grievances, in branches and across all digital channels. 

 

Hence channel optimization will become critical to creating differentiated digital customer experiences in the Indian financial sector.

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