I have always been fascinated by how the Indian consumer has adopted the new technologies in the space of Financial Services. I believe the driver has always been ‘convenience’ after overcoming the fear factor of ‘How do I use…” ..”Am I getting it Right? ”..”Is it safe”
In India through the early 90’s, 2000’s we witnessed the emergence of Credit Cards, ATMs, Debit Cards, Phone Banking , Dematerialisation of Shares, then Internet Banking both for information and payment. While initially the consumer was slow to adopt the usage of cards and ATMs in the 90’s, there was a sudden leap which took place and changed the scenario in the 2000’s. Then, the change was rapid and brought down the cost of the technology because of economies of scale. This comment is based on my experience within the banking industry.
A lot of effort was made to educate the customer so that he/she would be comfortable with using the new technologies. That the Banks in India continued relentlessly with their education programs on the adoption of new technologies and payment systems is a pointer to the fact that the Bank Heads believed that the Indian consumer was forward looking, keen to aspire and adopt new technologies which resulted in conveniences , which saved him/her time and increased the speed of the transaction. So India witnessed a sea change in the way consumer banking was transacted.
There is a new wave now with the convergence of mobile and the internet and the ownership of smartphones. We face the era of Digital Banking. Once again we are seeing several consumer banks in India gearing up and accelerating the pace of change. A move to paperless banking.
In early 2015, we witnessed initiatives from Kotak Mahindra Bank-Hashtag Banking, ICICI Bank –Pockets- all these being Digital Banking Initiatives. In the last few weeks we have heard a further buzz on the launch of various mobile payment solutions from Axis Bank- launch of PingPay-using social media based payment and HDFC Bank has launched PayZapp. The leading Foreign Banks –in India – Citibank, Standard Chartered and HSBC each have their own initiatives.
The initial online data that we see on downloads, reviews and ratings for the various banks indicates that Young India is adopting Digital Banking , there could be an accelerated pace depending on individual bank strategy. Consumer Education should be a pillar in the way forward.
Dr Anjana Grewal (Ph.D)
Senior Professor-Marketing and Corporate Governance Director-Centers of Excellence SDA Bocconi Professor of Marketing Dr. Grewal has done her Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from UDCT- University of Mumbai later she also pursued Master in Management studies from (MMS) and a Ph.D from JBIMS- University of Mumbai A well-respected sales, marketing and business professional with over three decades of corporate experience she has also done her Financial Engineering- UTI Capital Markets. For more info- https://www.misbbocconi.com/prof-anjana-grewal/