The Indian banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector has made significant advancements in recent years, witnessing an accelerated pace of digital transformation. Enterprises across the sector are leveraging futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, cloud and data analytics to streamline customer services and mitigate business risks. Industry players share their views on how these technologies are reshaping the BFSI space in India, the implementation challenges and the future outlook…
What role is technology playing in the BFSI industry? What are the key solutions adopted by your organisation?
Technology has played a huge role in diminishing market barriers, establishing payments and identity ecosystems, and levelling the playing field in the BFSI space. At EWM, there is a process of:
- Continuous improvement in processes to create efficiencies and gain an edge
- Creation of a strong infrastructure backbone that is future ready and scalable.
- Automation of activities using application programming interfaces (APIs) and bots to build scale, manage risk and reduce people dependencies
- Constant focus on user needs and aspirations to improve client experience through our platforms.
Some of the key pillars of EWM technology have been:
- Cloud adoption: It has ensured high availability, scalability and resiliency of our business applications.
- Enterprise API gateway: It has enabled us to leverage internal and external partner ecosystems and accelerate the launch cycle for new products.
- Intelligent automation: It has facilitated the development of new experiences and rapid delivery of process changes
- Artificial intelligence (AI): Over 20 models have been deployed to evaluate risks, perform anti-money laundering checks and know-your-customer (KYC), identify frauds, etc. in the company, thereby building efficiencies in our business.
How are new-age technologies such as AI, blockchain, RPA, big data and cloud transforming the BFSI space? What are some of the key use cases of these technologies?
The advent of cloud computing coupled with AI/ML has opened the door to real-time analytics, allowing clients to access solutions within a fraction of the time compared to what would otherwise take days to deliver.
Cloud computing has helped reduce the time and cost of new product deployment and allows for the experimentation of new features.
Blockchain is still at a nascent stage in India and outside of cryptocurrencies, there is some experimentation happening, but we are yet to see its adoption at a large scale.
At EWM, we have spent a significant amount of time creating cloud-ready platforms and migrating legacy platforms to the cloud, helping deliver software directly and securely over the internet as a service, resulting in considerable cost and time savings. An AI/ML layer has been added to our structured and unstructured data around client and relationship management activity to help understand client behaviour and structure our product offerings, advisory and communications accordingly.
Heavy investments have been made to shift from traditional reporting platforms to user-friendly reporting tools. The availability of our internal reports and analytics on dashboards has ushered in a culture of data-driven decision-making and monitoring of key performance indicators. In addition, EWM has harnessed the fintech ecosystem to improve the client onboarding experience by significantly reducing enrolment time and errors. At an enterprise level, we have also deployed bots to perform tasks more efficiently.
All the above has been achieved with a focus on data security and governance. We continue to invest heavily in upgrading our platform with the latest and state-of-the-art information security tools.
How will the growing adoption of metaverse influence the way banks engage with their customers, deliver services and launch new products in the BFSI sector?
Metaverse is yet at its founding stage and businesses are still getting their hands around the technology and finding use cases for the same. However, it is promising and over time, we should find ways to use it significantly more effectively to deliver services to clients in an engaging manner.
Banks and financial institutions should realise and identify new advertising opportunities that metaverse has created from digital billboards to partnerships with celebrities, whose avatars will speak to potential customers.
What are the possible impediments and security threats while deploying these technologies? How do you plan to address these?
The next generation of the internet will be both immersive and in 3D.
- Moderation challenges: No help or support access exists in most of the metaverses. NFT theft, for example, can leave a user without support.
- Identity: Metaverse users’ identities can be spoofed, their accounts can get hacked and their avatars can be taken over. A common challenge is that the identity of the person metaverse users are dealing with is always suspicious.
- Client vulnerabilities: VR and AR headsets are heavy-duty machines and are ripe targets for malicious and inadvertent hacks. Location spoofing and device manipulation enable perpetrators to take over users’ identities and cause havoc after entering the metaverse.
- Law and jurisdiction: Submerging into the metaverse will bring forth the question of legislation and jurisdiction, requiring countries to look more into the virtual legal domains. With the growing virtual space accessible for users worldwide, it will be essential to identify which jurisdiction will be applicable to ensure the virtual space is safe and secure for its users.
- Data accuracy: Location, merchandise quality, reviews, user information and third-party trusted data are anchored around accuracy. However, ensuring accuracy can be difficult. Submerging into these technologies will require to evolve security methods at par with the ever-so-expanding space of the technology.
- Privacy: No metaverse regulations exist and the need for data collection for a truly personalised immersive experience requires privacy invasion. Unlike the General Data Protection Regulation and other regulations, which have regional sovereignty requirements, virtual experiences have no borders, and therefore, ensuring privacy is at the mercy of the platform owner and the property owners.
- Access point compromise: The entry into the VR metaverse is typically through a headset. Any compromise of the headset endpoint could result in a complete takeover of that user’s avatar.
- Spying: Avatars can change appearance, which means that meetings, personal chats and other interactions are subject to spying and intrusion without the affected parties’ knowledge.
- Data integrity: AR involves overlaying third-party data, so any compromise in the integrity of data could present a major challenge. If a location app that has been overlaid onto a headset uses flawed location data, it could result in incorrect directions given to the user.
What will be the future technology trends reshaping the BFSI industry?
Financial uncertainty fuelled by the pandemic will shape investments, businesses and consumers for years to come. The fallout has meant acceleration on some fronts with an increased focus on fintech and digitalisation as well as the rethinking of conventional systems to better address mounting social and environmental imperatives. At EWM, we are betting on blockchain, metaverse (coupled with 5G) and enhanced AI/ML capabilities (coupled with data and cloud compute), which will shape this industry.