Banks bet big on digital channels for customer footfall post-Covid

Banks have been seeing an increase in the number of customers acquired through digital channels in the post-Covid era.

Banks have been seeing an increase in the number of customers acquired through digital channels in the post-Covid era. Pre-existing digital platforms have been helping banks keep business going in the retail segment in terms of both assets and liabilities, bankers said.

Speaking at a webinar hosted by Microsoft India, Anoop Mahapatra, deputy managing director, State Bank of India (SBI), said the lender has been originating loans through its Yono mobile app. “If you look into the ecosystem post Covid, the liabilities are not an issue, but now it comes to the asset side,” he said, adding, “We have multiple AI-enabled pre-approved loan products. We have end-to-end digital loans on the Yono platform.

We have already sanctioned 10 lakh loans the moment we launched it.” The bank has also come up with multiple pre-approved loan products and they have helped build momentum in asset build-up amid the lockdown.

Axis Bank has also been relying on its digital platforms to push customer engagement. Ratan Kesh, executive VP, Axis Bank, said that 40,000-50,000 employees of the bank are currently working on developing leads from home while accessing customer data in a secured environment.

“We ramped up our platform for opening accounts. Our account-opening run rate has gone up by 50% from pre-Covid days from the self-service channel, or the ASAP model,” Kesh said during the webinar. ASAP is the bank’s digital savings account product.

The lockdown may be leading banks to come up with new categories of credit products. For instance, SBI is working on small-ticket loans for its rural customer base. Through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transaction records of small traders, the lender is identifying likely candidates for financing. It is also working on a small-loan product for Jan Dhan account-holders, which will offer these customers loans in the range of Rs 10,000-40,000. “These are the kind of possibilities now because they (customers) have a digital footfall,” Mahapatra said.

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