Indian banking's focus on technological innovation has seen a paradigm shift towards digitalisation as Internet banking has emerged as the biggest focus area in the “Digital Transformation” agenda of banks fostered by India's Digital India initiative.
According to an EY report, the shift towards internet banking is fueled by the changing dynamics in India as byy 2020, the average age of Indian citizens will be 29 years and this young consumer base will be internet savvy and need real time online information. The report concluded that Indian banks need to aspire high and move toward implementing a world class internet banking capability.
IndusInd bank, ranked 12 by the Brandz top 50 most valuable Indian brands has invested extensively in fintech,. According to PwC research, over 95% of financial services incumbents seek to explore fintech partnerships. IndusInd also introduced its mobile app Indus Mobile which goes into the realm of biometrics and enables transaction approval through a simple fingerprint validation.
As to how IndusInd is benefiting from investing in fintech, The Drum spoke with Anil Ramachandran, IndusInd's head of marketing and communication, and head, retail unsecured assets who says: "The new age is one of collaboration, and banks and fintechs are each finding collaborations to be accretive. The simple rule is that of playing to your clear competencies and plugging and playing with competencies of the partner. Alliances in the digital world enable us to bring a diverse set of services to our consumers."
"We have partnered with leading companies towards bringing tangible benefits to the consumer. Both entities draw on each other’s innovative skills and inherent strengths to create a stable and robust business platform on the one hand and a superior customer experience on the other."
IndusInd has also adopted the concept of 'Responsive Innovation' as a central theme of its brand building program by which 'customer feedback received through social media is crafted into solutions for the new age banking customer'.
Ramachandaran explains the digital shift, saying:"The bank has, over the recent years, been investing judiciously in advertising and marketing programs using a range of media, from traditional ATL/print/TV etc. to a deep focus on the digital medium. The bank was one of the earliest BFSI brands to understand the importance of going digital, both from a customer onboarding/servicing/ engagement perspective, to using the medium as a brand builder. An effective use of traditional media and the emerging digital paradigm has worked effectively to enhance the brand image and recall."
IndusInd has ventured into campaigns through which it aims to build up the brand salience, according to Ramachandaran. He says: "The focus was on the showcasing products and services we offer and on taking to the market our platform of responsive innovation; which in essence was understanding consumer pain points ( though a sustained focus on research ) and arriving at simple , customer-friendly solutions which made banking convenient."
IndusInd has also created a platform called “IndusInd for Sports", under which it aims to bring all sports-related initiatives. In the first campaign it raised awareness and supported paralympic athletes who represented India at the Rio Olympics, while the second campaign supported the visually impaired Indian cricketers playing at the T20 World Cup Cricket 2017 for the blind.
Explaining the strategies behind these campaigns, Ramachandaran says: "As we have grown as organisation, we have also started supporting causes which we believe in, and where we believe we can make a distinctive difference. We have, for a while, been supporting causes that relate to ‘Sports’ because we believe that qualities that one associates with sports (leadership, endurance, team spirit etc.) can transform people and organisations."
On whether they plan to expand through partnership, he says: "The bank will continue exploring opportunities, where we can provide the requisite impetus to compete and excel in sports. We are very passionate about this cause and would want to continue to give support to the core development and progress of sports. Our support will be in areas where we believe we can make a difference."
In terms of advertising spend, IndusInd aims to go beyond traditional advertising to create a favourable disposition and to drive the “buy “decision according to Ramachandaran.
He says: "Our philosophy is that every touch-point is a direct communication to a potential customer and we have tried to use a complete 360 degree approach to creating brand salience. We are strong users of outdoors and the television medium and in recent times our deployment behind digital is increasing significantly."
"But we also use each of our innovations and outlets to drive customer preference. A simple example would be our ATMs which have the Choice Money feature which enables the customer to choose denominations of her choice. It is a big favourite, not just with our customers, but with other bank’s customers as well, as it solves a very basic need of having denominations of one’s choice. These properties also create a significant positive brand disposition."