IT Leadership

Customer Experience and Cost to Income Are Major Thrust Areas: B Madhivanan, ICICI Bank

Customer Experience and Cost to Income Are Major Thrust Areas: B Madhivanan, ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank, one of the leading Indian multinational banking and financial services company, has been at the forefront of technology adoption and digital banking. From robotic process automation (RPA) to leveraging new gateways such as the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the bank is leaving no opportunity to take its digital transformation to the next level.

The bank started its digital journey with the launch of Internet banking two decades ago. It was the first to launch Internet banking in 1998. It introduced iMobile, its mobile banking application, in 2008. Today, the bank’s Internet and mobile banking platforms offer hundreds of services. As the bank celebrates 20 years of its digital banking journey, it’s upbeat about the response from customers as well as its digital strategy that it seeks to pursue for the future. To celebrate this milestone, the ICICI Bank has unveiled a plan that includes a range of initiatives in the field of emerging technologies in order to enhance the customer experience from its current level.

According to B Madhivanan, the Chief Technology & Digital Officer, ICICI Bank, customer experience is always strongly reflected at the board level and is a touchstone for any policy decision.

“Digital transformation is the only way forward. If I am not giving my customers the optimum experience they will just move on to any of the other options available. That is the reason we believe in continuously redesigning our digital journey. We keep coming out with new versions,” says Madhivanan.

Among the several achievements of the bank on the technology front, Madhivanan considers the 1 million user mark for its iMobile app as one of the most remarkable. Asked about the reason for this success, he points out that the iMobile application has had a scheduled release every month. The bank has also taken the lead in areas such as UPI Banking, automation and software robotics. It now employs hundreds of software robots, which have increased the number of transactions processed manifold as compared to earlier number.

“Either we add new features or present the previous ones in a new and novel manner to make the process more user-friendly and efficient,” says Madhivanan.

Talking about technology trends, the CTO of ICICI Bank says that the UPI has been a big contributor and that the development has shifted the focus from branches to mobile as a preferred mode of banking. He says that the advent of UPI has been momentous for the bank and its implications would be far reaching. The UPI would redefine the way the banking sector is visualized, particularly with respect to features such as making payments or designing of applications on top of UPI, he says.

Madhivanan also claims that the Bank has been enjoying a great ‘cost to income ratio’. “Our target is to genuinely keep bringing this ratio down. However, our efforts at extreme automation are not just aimed at bringing down the costs. We also look at alternative revenue generation. We have been striving for leveraging our own technology and innovations in the realm of customer acquisition. While the value of digital banking will grow at an ‘x’ pace, the number of transactions will grow at 10x as transaction prices keep coming down,” Madhivanan says.

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