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Digital Banking for Dumb

This is a work of fiction and is a humorous take on the digital rush of most banks today.

Background: The CEO of a leading retail bank is very happy with the digital transformation that the bank has recently undertaken and wanted to spread the word. “Digi Genie” is our digital banking correspondent who is set to interview the CEO in our monthly ‘Digital Unicorn’ show.

Light, camera, action!!!

DG (Digi Genie): Ladies & Gentleman, Let us welcome Mr. Avnish Koppar, CEO INBI Bank, to our show ‘Digital Unicorn’. Mr. Koppar, how do you feel to be part of a show which has ‘Digital’ as a tagline?

CEO: Marvelous! All the more sweet, as we are now a digital leader in the banking space.

DG: Wow! That’s great. So, how did you get to know that you have…I mean ‘arrived at the scene?’

CEO: That’s simple. Last week we were awarded the ‘Digital Tippler for the Year in Banking’ in the annual ‘Digital-for-dumb’ event organized by EPWMG at ‘Saj Dead End’

DG: Heartiest congratulations! How did you prepare for it?

CEO: Our marketing team worked very closely with EPWMG providing all the details needed for their evaluation

DG: Wasn’t EPWMG also leading a transformation initiative for your bank?

CEO: Oh..Yes. But that’s a different team of EPWMG! They actually led the digital transformation initiative which we called ‘Project Mahanirvan’

DG: Oh. Got it. (with a wink)

DG: So, Mr. Koppar can you share some of the bank achievements in digital space?

CEO: (Straightens up with a large halo smile) I am very happy to share some of the achievements in the last 2 years:

  1. When you visit our ‘Annapally’ branch in Chennai, you will be greeted by ‘Kissme’; our robo-advisor built on latest AI technology
  2. We have a huge following in Facebook running into millions, among the top
  3. Around 50% of our account holders have now installed our bank app
  4. We are engaging multiple start-up on latest technology including blockchain, conducting hackathons
  5. More than 90% of non-cash transactions of our customers are being done through internet and mobile platforms

DG: Audience, isn’t that great? (on DG’s prodding, a lot of clap could be heard)

DG: ‘Kissme?’ Very interesting name! Mr. Koppar can you illuminate us on why such a name?

CEO: Very good question. Lot of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence science has gone behind it. Our research team identified that humans have a unique ‘lip signature’, it is like finger print but has lesser chance of ‘Type 2 error’ i.e. reduce chances of ‘false negative’.

Additionally, for finger print, we would have to access Aadhar database. The challenge is that we can do that easily but we can’t say to the world that we have done it and hence can’t use that data directly. That’s where ‘lip signature’ came to our rescue.

As I said, we have a huge FB following with most of our customers following us. Our ‘Big Data’ system scanned through FB profile of our customers, accessed their public profile photo and cropped out their lips. Bingo! We got a huge database of ‘lip signatures’ of our customers. Actually, it turned out to be easier than we thought.

DG: Ok. What next?

CEO: Yup…Hold on. As I was saying, we now have an enviable database of lip signature through which we can now easily deliver lip service to our esteemed customers. A huge gasp from the crowd!

CEO: Sipping water, thinking how to mitigate the ‘lip slip’😊 Ok. We are redefining ‘lip service’. Whenever any of our customers visits our new age Annapally branch, he/ she will be greeted by our ‘Kissme’ roboadvisor with a lip kiss (another gasp). The roboadvisor lip sensors matches the lip signature immediately and gives him/ her the account balance and other details in his/ her ear.

Hence, we are able to authenticate the customer without asking him any questions or asking his ID and at same time sharing the details very privately in his/ her ear.

DG: That’s…(lost his words). The name Annapally rings a bell! Was it not in the news of couple of customers complaining that roboadvisor had actually bit off their ears when they placed their ear close to Kissme?

CEO: Media…always making hill out of a mole. Still we investigated both the incidents. In one case, a customer had actually uploaded his wife’s picture in FB profile and hence there was a mismatch. We have asked the customer to replace his profile picture. The 2nd case is of apparent fraud. Our actual customer is a rich business man who is fighting divorce. His wife wanted to get his account balance in sly but our robo advisor caught her. Actually, the 2nd case is a success story for us!

But we understand and respect customer sentiments! We are now implementing a few updates based on our AI feedback loop and one of the update is that Kissme will no longer bite but will simply hold on to the ear whenever it detects a fraud! (crowd is cringing in their seats by now)

DG: So, what’s have been the success with Kissme? Do you plan to roll out to your other branches?

CEO: We have got rave reviews, there is lot of media coverage and many customers are talking about it in the social media. It has virtually created a storm in social media (CEO pats himself)

DG: So, many customers are using it at your Annapally branch?

CEO: A few customers have tried it. But then there are a few cultural issues that our data scientists did not see coming through!

Lady customers, especially the older generation, are against PDA and hence wants a separate enclosure for Kissme where they can kiss privately. The younger generation though are more open but they want the bank to change the look of Kissme

DG: Look?

CEO: Yes, currently Kissme has a women face. The younger lady customers find it’s a little disgusting to kiss a woman and have requested for a male version of Kissme to be installed as well. Customer is king and we do want to respect our customer feedback, hence we are currently in process of installing a male version of Kissme as well. That will also take care of a smaller section of our LGBT customers who have also being vocal in our FB page on their rights! (A few audience now lying on the floors, a few out of shock and a few out of excessive laughing)

DG: Wow…(Sighs). Ok Mr. Koppar, why don’t you tell us about your social media success

CEO: Sure. That’s a great success story as well. But success do not come easily! Our social media profile was created two years back. Initially we had an internal team which worked on connecting with customers. It was working well but we were lagging badly in the key metric when compared to our peers

DG: Which key metric?

CEO: Very simple to measure, number of followers. We realized that internal team does not have necessary experience and tools to transform our social presence and that’s when we sought external help. Then we hired a social media agency ‘Million By A Sec’ who gave us a demo of their tools, campaigns and strong network by which they have helped a lot of organizations to get their followers. They were little costly but it yielded the right result. We can now boast of million + followers.

DG: So, lot of customer interactions?

CEO: That’s part of our social media roadmap. Currently we have achieved our first metric on followers and now we are working on our next metrics, along the lines of customer sentiment analysis.

DG: That’s sounds interesting. How do you plan to do it?

CEO: From our earlier experience, we believe social media is best handled by external experts. We have recently hired an agency ‘Always remain positive’ who have showcased their strengths in managing customer sentiments in social media. They have a QRT (Quick response team) to immediately answer customer queries and a AI tool which ensures that the positive comments are pushed to the top to create a more positive atmosphere for our customers in the social media.

DG: QRT? But would not there be a data privacy challenges as they are not part of the bank?

CEO: We have taken care off that as well! We have given them a set of QRA (Quick response answers), from which they have to pick up the best while answering. A few examples will be ‘Will get back soon’, ‘Get well soon’, ‘Log your complain in our complain forum’ etc. (most of audience are now in sleep mode)

DG: Isn’t that great audience? (Claps loudly to awake the audience, a few delayed claps & yawns follow)

DG: A few last questions. You spoke about lot of your customers downloading your ‘Sathi mera Hathi’ app and transacting through your digital platform. Do you see lot of cash transactions shifting to digital mode?

CEO: As I said earlier, we have seen a huge increase of digital in non-cash transactions. We saw that shift in cash also when the ‘demon’ was around. But after the ‘demon’ left, we are seeing many customers falling for their old habit of transacting in cash. (spontaneous claps and shouts ‘Demon murdabad!’ from the audience)

DG: Mr. Koppar, I am sure your digital transformation has been a huge success. Is the bank seeing an increase in the share of your bank platform usage in online marketplace?

CEO: (Slumps back into his seat) We may eventually but we are still unsure of the reliability of 3rd party data on usage of different bank’s platform for online shopping etc. Nevertheless, we are also soon launching our own B2C marketplace ‘SmartNo’ where customers can use our bank cards to get additional rewards

DG: That sounds interesting. But with every other bank opening their own marketplace, don’t you see a trend towards creating closed loop ecosystem that tries to lock their own customers but not necessarily giving a better & larger experience?

CEO: (One more glass of water and tries to make a brave face) No we think we are increasing the choice for the customer (audience looks confused)

DG: Hmm…One final question. What is your take on cybersecurity and privacy in this age of digital?

CEO:  A good question (don’t have an answer). Missing my CISO here!!! I know he has been after my life to increase spend on security software but you know we are a very cost-conscious bank and our aim is to achieve the lowest cost to income.

DG: That doesn’t really comfort our audience, many of whom can be your bank customers too!

CEO: I understand and hence we are evaluating a few security solutions. But a last word to our customers as well. (looks at the audience) You don’t show/ share your private parts to public/ unknown people, similarly you should not show/ share your private keys (passwords/ PINs) with anyone.

With this worldly wisdom shared with the audience, the CEO rises up. He waits for claps but most of the audience by this time is gasping badly while a few young women try fruitlessly to make good of their scarce clothing.



Featured Image made from https://aminoapps.com/c/cartoon/page/blog/top-10-dumbest-cartoon-characters-part-2/o3ki_duBepj32J053rjKXbnnV3EVVld and gradeup.co

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