From the Publisher’s Desk

Re-Defining the Digital Blueprint with Industry



Sudheer Padiyar (Padi) is Vice President – Sales for EMEA and Global Head of Marketing at SunTec Business Solutions. Padi is a seasoned and dynamic sales and marketing professional with over 21 years’ experience in Financial Services and Global Banking Technology Industry.

Prior to joining SunTec, he has successfully led sales and marketing functions across Americas and Europe for the banking technology solutions from Infosys. During this period he has worked closely with CXOs and business leaders of retail and universal banks across Europe in defining their transformation roadmap around Core Banking and Digital.

Beep Beep Beep… There goes my car reminding me about the closest petrol pump at the next exit to make sure I tank up before I run out of gas. How? The car sensors have scanned my navigation map and alerted me to fuel up to make it to my destination on time.

As I buckle up my seat belt and push the pedal, my dashboard syncs with my official calendar and signals a free slot available on Friday amidst my busy schedule, to book an appointment with the car service center. Phew! I wonder if I really need to remember anything anymore with my car sending me timely alerts for almost everything.

What’s next? Cars of the future will no longer need to be manually driven by you and me as we are soon zipping into the realm of driver-less cars.

A few decades ago, your car behaving like a superhero seemed like a distant dream, but today with the Internet of Things (IoT) gaining rapid momentum, machines equipped with Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Analytics are taking over at break neck speed. Everything is automated and so well-synchronized by technology, that there is zero necessity for any human intervention.

This is today’s reality where enterprises globally have embraced digital transformation with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So, what does this mean for you and me?

Well, for starters, as service providers who are fiercely battling for a greater chunk of the market share, we are no longer allowed to sit back in the comfort of our own expanse and watch technology take over. We need to suavely take the reins of digital transformation into our hands to become more agile, more responsive and more open to this revolution. Customers today are spoiled for choice with numerous alternatives for the same product or service in the market. Modern day service providers would therefore need to start differentiating their digital products to stay ahead in the game.

How do we make this happen? As far as the banking industry is concerned, the digital wave is not a new concept as it occurred a couple of years ago with E-banking , Mobile Wallets, and Blockchain being introduced as pilots. But as years have gone by, it’s time to move to the next level. It’s important to redefine, fine tune and re validate the efforts taken towards this enterprise wide digital transformation and ask ourselves if we have rightly embarked upon this digital strategy.

The first step in this direction would be to connect, collaborate and communicate with the larger ecosystem. As quoted by Michel Mulders- Partner PwC “For industrial companies to become true digital champions they need to accelerate in connecting better and faster and actively plan for an ecosystem approach”. This essentially translates to Banking Institutions creating higher value for their customers by partnering with ancillary Service Providers and Organizations who complement their overall services to the customer.

Fintechs are a classic example here. Fintechs are a result of the mass influx of relatively new competitors in the financial services space globally, powered by massive funding of both new start-ups and innovations by large and established technology companies. Being equipped with technologies using Big Data and Cognitive Intelligence, fintechs have the advantage in terms of speed, agility, and the capacity to understand and quickly build a very good user experience.

Thousands of Banks have leveraged this unique strength by building a vast ecosystem of partnerships with fintechs. The result? Better market penetration and greater expansion while delivering superior service offerings to the end customer.

Another important step would be to actually fine tune your Organization’s internal processes and systems with the frequencies of the IoT and its reciprocal technologies.

Smart machines and technology are successfully converting data into customer insights and enhancing service provisions across the Banking industry. This is bringing the digital experience closer to the human interaction for consumers.

Similarly banks and fintech companies around the globe are using machine learning to detect fraud by flagging unusual transactions through automation. It proves to be far more efficient than human manual monitoring and this technology trend is expected to become the norm in banking and finance very soon.

Robotics are not far behind in this technology revolution. In Sweden for example, Swedbank’s Nina Web assistant achieved an average of 30,000 conversations per month and first-contact resolution of 78% in its first three months. Nina is equipped to handle 350+ different customer queries!

Developed by Softbank, Japan’s leading telecommunications companies, in collaboration with Paris-based robotics experts, ‘Pepper’ is the world’s first humanoid robot with human emotions. What’s more? Pepper is already in full action at Mizuho Financial Group Inc bank in Japan, where it was introduced for its flagship branch to deal with customer enquiries, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group trained ‘Nao’, a humanoid robot to interact with customers.

While Pepper and Nao are great examples of how robotics are rampantly being used for back office tasks, they are also pushing the boundaries of what an autonomous, artificially intelligent robot can do within a secure banking environment, and we actually foresee a time when robots will work side-by-side with humans. Definitely, not an isolated reality!

Thirdly and most importantly, while technology is being leveraged to its fullest to provide a barrage value added services to the customer, one must not forget that the same technology can also be used to measure this value from an enterprise perspective. The actual value delivered could be different from this expected value. Hence, it is important to continuously compute, measure and monitor value generation in a cyclical manner and actively use the insights from this process to manage the sustained growth of the enterprise.