State Bank of India (SBI) managing director Ashwani Bhatia on Friday said Fintech is the way forward for the Indian banking and payment system as there is a lot of opportunity for growth. Giving the example of SBI, he said, 91 per cent of jobs are being done digitally now, which was unthinkable 35 years ago.
“We believe that this 91 per cent will become 100 per cent. For a bank like State Bank of India, and other banks obviously, everything is going to move digitally. There is no doubt about that. Penetration of smartphones is also going to increase,” he said at a virtual conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Going forward, he said, branches are going to become nothing but distribution points like what has happened in Europe and other places. This is where the big opportunities lie, he said adding, “I am sure as we evolve, and we will evolve very very fast. Fintech is the way forward as far as the Indian banking system is concerned and the payment system is concerned.”
Fintech refers to companies or services that use technology to offer financial services to businesses or consumers.
Bandhan Bank managing director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh said: “Banks and Fintech will co-exist to drive the ecology of money. There are benefits that Fintech brings in that banks do not inherently have and vice-a-versa. A combination of both is what brings the best value for customers.
“It is not about UX (user experience) but about CX (customer experiences). Best consumer experiences come from a combination of traditional banking and Fintech… both will thrive and together drive growth for themselves and for the reason of their existence — the customers. Customers are the first priority.”
Observing that India is not one market but a sum of various small markets, Ghosh said Fintech companies have to develop products for each segment rather than jumping in the same space. Pointing out that consumer behaviour has undergone change during the lockdown and COVID period, Ghosh said digital payment has seen significant growth and is going to stay even after COVID-19 is over, he added.
On the need for strengthening cybersecurity, Ghosh said, for Fintech to thrive, a strong risk mitigation framework has to be put in place.
“Customers also need to be made aware of the practices and how to avoid being defrauded. This is where regulation will play a big role. All financial regulators in the country have to focus on consumer interest and have brought in rules and regulation to ensure that users and customers are not inconvenienced,” he said.
He said there has been a spurt in online fraud during COVID-19 period and most defrauded customers are elderly who are least aware of the technology.