The Indian banking industry has become an example for the pace at which it is growing over the past decade or so.
The requirement to introduce computers was felt in the Indian banking sector in the 1980s, in order to provide better services to the customers and improve bookkeeping. A committee was then set up by Reserve Bank of India.
How It All Started?
Banks started using Information Technology by using Personal Computers which was new at that time.
Later on, banks switched to Local Area Network (LAN) wherein a group of computers shares a common communication line. Later on, banks adopted the Core Banking platform which supports bank’s day to day transactions like opening new accounts, making and servicing loans, processing cash deposits and withdrawals etc.
Thus, branch banking changed to bank banking. All these features helped banks to increase the comfort feature us customers and gave us better customer experience through the feature of Anywhere and Anytime Banking.
This feature allowed customers like us to do banking transactions 24*7 and through all the branches of that bank in India.
The economy opened up in the latter half of the nineties. Private and foreign banks started competing with the public sector banks in India.
Computerization increased during this era as banks started using more and more computers to compete with one another and stay in the race. Many commercial banks started giving digital customer services to stay competitive in the race.
Progress Over The Years
Banks, as well as customers like us, have benefitted a lot by using the newer technologies adopted by banks which made the entire experience user-friendly.
E-banking has resulted in reducing cost for the banks and at the same time, it increases their user base which ultimately helped them generate more revenue through various channels.
Digitization has decreased human error. It is now possible to access and analyse the data anytime.
The Central Bank has overseen all these new developments taking place in banks. Commercial Banks in our country have moved towards a technology by way of Bank Mechanisation and Automation with the introduction to MICR, Electronic Funds Transfer.
MICR based cheque processing helps banks use the technique to verify the validity and enhance the security of signed checks. Electronic Fund transfer help customers like us in transferring money from one account to another without the need to visit the bank branch.
Inter-connectivity among bank branches through the use of a common software has helped in faster decision making and access to data.
Implementation of ATM Channel has facilitated us to do transaction anywhere in the country without visiting the branch.
Strong initiatives have been taken by the Central Bank of our country in strengthening the payment and settlement system in banks.
The Indian government is increasingly supporting digital transactions.
United Payments Interface (UPI) and Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) launched by the government was an important milestone not just for the banking system but the entire country. Innovation and popularity of digital payments are resulting in greater digital banking transactions.
UPI is a payment method which allows the transfer of money anytime without the need to enter bank details every time we transact. UPI and BHIM are economical ways of money transfer, making us free of cash.
As we are moving towards a cashless economy, we see a rising number of ATMs in our country. Implementation of electronic payment system such as NEFT, ECS, RTGS, Mobile banking, Debit cards, Credit Cards has become very common with every Indian bank.
Indian banks are coming up with innovative variants of these products and show the newest features added to these products to attract more customers.
All this has not just benefitted the banks by generating more revenue but has also made our lives better by making banking very easy for us.
Challenges in the Banking Industry
1.Responsibility of User
Bank digital transactions can go wrong due to many reasons, some of which might not be the fault of customers like us. The hacking of debit cards and bank accounts takes place very frequently.
With the increased use of digital payments, we need to be protected from unauthorised banking transactions.
Today, the responsibility is on us and not the banks when banks are really in control of the payment system and are charging us the for digital transactions.
The laws on digital payments are vague. There is an urgent need to legally back digital payments in our country, not only to ensure the safety of customer’s money but also for the safety of these companies themselves.
- Increasing the Customer BaseIncreasing internet penetration is the only possible solution to reduce the digital divide and increase digital transactions in our country.
The increase of digital transactions in rural India would help boost not just the banking system but the entire economy. Awareness among people needs to be increased.
- Awareness and EducationCustomers who stay in rural India need to be made aware of the advantages of digital banking. There is still a belief in most parts of our country that online banking is not a safe mode of banking. If people are educated about digital banking then their reliance on conventional banking will gradually come down.
Benefits Of Digitalization
Since methods of banking have become more digitalized, banks are focusing on creating a more efficient service for us, producing more methods of advancements in a more user-friendly front-end service.
Through this mode of banking, paying bills online is done much faster and better since all our information is tracked through our banking applications.
Digital banking also helps us to check our account history and transactions anywhere which ultimately satisfies customers like us since we are keeping a track of our daily transactions.
Role of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics
Artificial Intelligence is continuously contributing to the banking industry to deliver a greater level of value to us, decreases risks, and gives better opportunities as the financial engines of our modern economy.
It is helping in coming up with innovations and transforming the way clients are serviced. Artificial Intelligence is working on giving personalized support, better customer experience, and cost saving.
Better performance, higher profitability, and reduction in risk are the main goals which banking and financial sectors are trying to achieve.
In this data-driven world, performance is dependent on those big data technologies which can store and manage data in real time.
Banks also have to mandatorily lend loans at a lower interest rate to priority sectors like agriculture, housing, education. Data Analytics has played an essential role in reducing cost, product development and increasing client base for the banks.
Indian Banks are slowly and steadily moving towards the digital revolution. In order to compete with other commercial banks, they are introducing innovative features in their offering and are trying to make the overall customer experience much more simple and flexible.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Groww