ICICI bank, India’s largest private bank, plans to ride on the technology wave with blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. Through this article we explore ICICI’s endeavors of digitalizing banking.
Establishing a Digital team
As part of its annual reorganization, ICICI Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Chanda Kochhar, announced to create a new division, Technology and Digital group (TDG). This new team will be responsible of improving the digital capabilities of the bank.
The TDG will shoulder the responsibility of exploring the various usages of blockchain technologies in order to make banking more robust and secure. They will be developing the bank’s digital capabilities for its commercial, retail and wholesale banking, its treasury business, and its small and medium enterprises business.
ICICI’s Digital Journey
Back in 1994, banking in ICICI was done the traditional way. Customers has to stand in queue to avail of banking services and get transactions printed on their passbook. Moving from then on, ICICI was one among the very first banks in India to start online banking. And today, ICICI banking services are available on all the devices to customers from desktop to tablets to smartphones and now smart watches also.
Just 3 years back, ICICI came up with Tab banking, taking their digital banking a step further. Tab banking allowed the bank’s sales executives to open the banking account for customers in a day’s time without any hassle of paperwork. Basically the sales executives visit the customer’s home or office and take pictures of all the important KYC documents and send it to the branch for processing and in a day time the account is opened.
This technological advancement has helped ICICI make the entire process of opening and activating an account easy for the customer as well as the bank staff. Also this enhanced customer experience has led to great quantifiable returns for the bank.
Using Blockchain Technology
ICICI wants to take advantage of the advancements happening in digital technology and as part of their initiative to provide a better banking experience to their customers, the bank will now focus on using blockchain technology.
By using this technology, banking will be more robust for its customers. The way this technology works is like an open ledger. It lessens the amount of duplication of access to data which many parts of the ecosystem will have to access as per their need. Also it will help the bank to lower its costs and have scalability.
For instance, the banks plans to use the technology for import-export trade. By using blockchain, ICICI can establish a link from the start point where exports get made till the point where banks give funding against export certificates. If all the information is available on an open ledger, then there is more transparency and the chances of fraud are reduced.
Implementing Artificial Intelligence
Apart from blockchain technology, ICICI plans to use artificial intelligence to bring a change in the way banking is done. They will make use of chat bots who will act as quasi-bankers. Then there will be software bots who can carry out remittance and also provide assistance to the customers in making their loan choices.
These technological advancements will change the way banking is done and enhance the customer experience. Though how much ever digital the banks go, branches cannot be eliminated completely. Physical presence in the form of branches will be needed especially in the rural areas where the presence of digitalization is yet limited.
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