Namita Vikas, Group President & Country Head – Responsible Banking, YES Bank Ltd
“Banking is just about Bits and Bytes,” John Reed, American journalist and poet, said over a century ago. In banking for the 21st century, however, with massive technological advances, transformed consumption patterns and globalised economies, it is important to place these “bits” and “bytes” at the right places to service newer customer dynamics and catapult the age old sector into the next orbit. Digital payments now bring the promise to achieve this next phase of growth.
Today ‘Digital’ has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, including governance, entertainment, lifestyle and commerce, and banking is no different. The sector has specially benefited from digitisation, in terms of efficiency, accuracy, reliability, speed and ability to scale up and seamlessly serve customers spread across the globe. Digital payments are helping propel commerce by providing greater convenience to the customers and assurance to merchants. Digital enablement is helping bring enormous levels of efficiency to the eco- system and allowing banks to reach out beyond their limiting physical reach.
In the Indian context, lack of financial inclusion is a large socio-economic issue and, thus, a concept such as JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile Number), as highlighted by the government, is not only going to provide financial access to every Indian, but also create a foundation stone for digital innovations that would positively impact development at the Bottom Of the Pyramid (BOP).
It is important for FIs to have their ears to the ground and create innovative financial products that have a strong business case and can deliver positive social impact. Through specialised business verticals such as Agri-Business and Rural Banking, Inclusive and Social Banking, and Digital Banking, Yes Bank has been able to penetrate the BOP and create and service new market opportunities.
Using its ‘Frugal Innovations for Financial Inclusion’ principle, Yes Bank has systematically leveraged ICT and frugal business models to cater to the under-banked and unbanked population in rural and urban India.
For example, YES BANK launched YES MONEY as a low cost domestic remittance platform that integrated the existing Business Correspondence model of the RBI with its innovative “Knowledge Remittance Bridge” to turn thousands of local “mom-and-pop” stores into remittance platforms helping millions of urban migrant labourers remit money to their native villages and towns at a fraction of the time and cost, saving them millions of vital man-hours.
Through Yes Sahaj, an ultra-low cost mobile transaction device, the bank has demonstrated the effectiveness of ‘doorstep banking’, allowing basic banking to reach the doorsteps of millions of rural homes. Similarly, Yes Bank launched its Yes Kisan Dairy Plus as a comprehensive financial suite-based on its digital platforms that is strengthening the credit cycles and incomes of thousands of small-scale dairy farmers.
In conclusion, an innovation-led digital banking will be crucial to Yes Bank’s growth strategy, allowing it to further percolate the reach of its banking services, diversify its portfolios to critical development sectors, and participate in the overall growth and development in India. Yes Bank is proud to be a part of Digital India.