The ongoing pandemic in India has led to a sharp increase in digital banking, and consequently, raised the expectations of consumers who want instant and personalised services. A large number of people staying at home are turning to digital channels, both online and mobile, to fulfil most of their banking requirements. As a result, traditional visits to branches and face-to-face interactions with bank staff have reduced.
Banks in India had already been making a push for cashless and contactless transactions before Covid-19. Since March 2020, however, banks have expanded their digital footprints across the banking space. They have been designing and deploying smarter and more innovative products and solutions through apps and websites, and meeting the growing consumer demand. Banks are using digital channels to offer a range of services, including onboarding new customers through video KYC, deposits and withdrawals, outward remittances, payment collections etc. Late last year, National Payments Corporation of India approved a WhatsApp proposal to allow users to transfer and receive money through the messaging app.
As the pandemic disrupted economic activity, including banking and financial operations, RBL Bank saw a significant opportunity to accelerate its digital banking initiatives to help customers during the health crisis and gear up for the post-Covid-19 era. With speed and agility key to digital transformation, RBL Bank made big strides in digital banking.
Over the past several months, the bank has offered paperless customer onboarding, Aadhaar and video KYC, contactless debit cards, cardless cash withdrawals, Tap and Pay through mobile, Scan and Pay, payments and remittances, UPI-based collection and chatbot, among other benefits. Additionally, it has been forging strategic partnerships through open banking.
The Bank customers can now use their mobile phones to tap and pay at point-of-sale (POS) through NFC, withdraw cash without debit cards from over 40,000 IMT-enabled (Instant Money Transfer) ATMs across the country, and use WhatsApp to get real time updates on account balance, credit cards, products and services and opening a new digital account. In a unique initiative, RBL Bank’s ATM-on-Wheels reaches out to vulnerable communities, particularly the elderly, and helps them to withdraw money.
RBL Bank has made banking still easier by launching the AI-powered RBL Cares chatbot that allows customers to chat with the 24×7 bot and get real time updates on their bank accounts, fixed deposits and credit cards as well as information on new products and services.
To minimise customer visits to its branches, RBL Bank launched an instant digital bank account opening facility that allows customers to open accounts from anywhere in the country through a fully paperless onboarding, powered by Video KYC. The monthly onboarding of customers through digital channels has increased to 45 per cent over the last three-and-a-half years. About 60 per cent of total deposits (FDs and RDs) have come through the digital route. The Bank has witnessed 10X jump in online bill payments.
In an effort to make the Banking experience seamless and convenient, the Bank has a state of art mobile banking application, RBL MoBank, with over 200 banking products and services available to all its retail customers across CASA, Credit Cards, Loans and Wealth Management businesses. Currently, over 60 per cent of the bank’s customers adopt the mobile banking application within 10 to 12 days of opening the account. RBL Bank aims to increase this to 85 per cent among its existing customers. In line with its endeavour to make digital banking more inclusive for its rural customer base, the MoBank App is also available in regional languages like Hindi, Marathi etc.
Moreover, the bank’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme has also contributed to stepping up the digitisation process, with the launch of a specialised online digital remittance platform. The all-in-one digital platform will enable prompt remittances with faster money transfer.
WhatsApp Banking offered by the bank provides real-time updates, including information on account balance, credit cards, products and even opening of new digital accounts. The unique adoption of this digital medium stands at 62 per cent.
Surinder Chawla, Head, Branch Banking, RBL Bank said, “The adoption of advanced digital channels across business segments grew by 98 per cent in 2020, indicating the immense significance we attach to our digital journey. Our digital foray is making banking easier and convenient for our customers without compromising on security and privacy. The ongoing pandemic has given us an opportunity to leverage our technological capabilities and successfully drive digital transformation across business segments. It will be our constant endeavour to digitally engage with customers long after Covid-19.”