Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Transaction Banking in the COVID-19 world

This is a special feature as part of India on the Move Series (Season 4), an initiative by Standard Chartered Bank and CNBC-TV18

Published: Jun 16, 2021 04:48:03 PM IST

Transaction Banking in the COVID-19 world

The pandemic has called for robust revamps across sectors and the pace of digital adoption has accelerated at break-neck speed. Mridu Bandari from Network18 gets into a conversation with Apurva Jain, Head, Transaction Banking & Cash Management, India, Standard Chartered, Praveena Rai, COO, NCPI, and Ajay Adiseshan, Founder and CEO PayMate to understand this surge in digital and its impact on the Banking and Finance sector with a focus on Transaction Banking.

Apurva Jain opines that COVID has forced organizations to reduce 3rd party dependence and look for solutions within, banks are thinking differently across 3 broad segments namely payments & collections, finance, and customer relations.  Elucidating with an example, he adds that verification mechanisms such as eKYC have reduced the stress on physical interactions thus enabling convenience and speed. He further lauds the efforts of NCPI and companies such as PayMate in helping shape digital processes and ensuring customer gratification across levels.

Praveena believes this is a golden moment as digital transactions have risen exponentially despite the slump in economic activity. She shares an interesting statistic about how close to 15MN QR codes have been initiated, fintech companies are constantly innovating through digital mediums such as WhatsApp to reach out to their consumers with seamless payment options.

Ajay Adiseshan, Founder & CEO, PayMate feels that the operations of enterprise customers have been disrupted due to remote working which has played on the trust element involved in digital transactions. But on the upside, he sees tremendous opportunity for partnership models to emerge where banks and fintech companies can combine forces in providing innovative digital services to their consumers.

The panelists further delved on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data analytics, and other such technologies enabling innovations, speeding processes whether it is the deployment of Blockchain by Standard Chartered Bank or the launch of the VAJRA app by NCPI.  Ajay explained how PayMate has been collaborating with Banks for payment automation processes.

Yet another topic of interest was the SMB sector, their digital requirements, and how banks, financial institutions, and digital service providers are working on multiple automation solutions to address the concerns of this sector, as it is one of the worst hit by the pandemic.  

Commenting on changed consumer behavior, Apurva cited an interesting global survey that claims that 64% of people think the world will become fully digital by 2025, while on the other hand, 87% of people from India feel that India will become totally cashless by 2025.  This only strengthens the case that Digitalization is here to stay and organizations need to say ahead of the curve to survive and sustain in the disruption and opportunity created by the pandemic.

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