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Industry Research : Lenders Re-imagine Service Delivery in Post-Covid World

#contactcenterworld, @Accenture

Covid-19 triggered a paradigm shift in the way banking services are delivered with lockdown restrictions and the fear of getting infected forcing consumers to look at alternative means.

Covid fast-tracked digital adoption and forced banks to run operations with more than 50% of the staff working from home. However, the crisis also presented the industry with an opportunity to rapidly innovate, which would have otherwise taken years of planning and preparation. "When the pandemic hit, we were already at a stage where a lot of bank customers were not visiting branches actively and some banks had gone completely digital. So, while the technology was always there, its adoption increased significantly during the pandemic," said Sonali Kulkarni, lead, financial services, Accenture in India.

Earlier, both bank customers and employees took longer to switch to digital, as physical modes co-existed and it was perceived that they would prefer to use the physical mode, Kulkarni said.

A key behavioural shift was witnessed in the area of payments following the coronavirus outbreak. Customers took to contactless payments, to avoid touching common surfaces such as point-of-sale terminals used by others. India’s homegrown innovation, the Unified Payments Interface, which was launched in April 2016, saw transaction volumes breach the 2-billion mark in October, because of the higher demand during the festive season and a change in consumer preference in favour of contactless payments.

Digital payment volumes saw a decline in the airline, hospitality and entertainment sectors. The dip was because of the restrictions on these services during lockdown. However, payment volumes increased in areas such as grocery, online pharmacies, recharges, and utility bills.

Experts are now bullish on India’s digital payments space. Nearly 66.6 billion transactions worth $270.7 billion are expected to shift from cash to cards and digital payments by 2023 in India and reach $856.6 billion by 2030, according to a survey by Accenture.

The growing trend in digital payments prompted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow an increase in the limit for contactless card payments from the existing 2,000 to 5,000 from 1 January. The regulator had allowed the use of video know your customer process to help on-board new customers two months before the lockdown was imposed. The move gave banks time to put in place technologies, such as optical character recognition, live video, and artificial intelligence to rollout the service.

"Log in frequencies, volumes across internet and mobile banking, and conversational banking accelerated through this period. We accelerated the pace of digital adoption and digitized more services to support customers. There were 80,000 skills that our Keya conversational chatbot was trained for. With people working remotely, we got employees to train Keya and we have now added 3x more skills," said Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The other big shift was about putting in place policies to allow employees to work from home, something that was unheard of in the industry. Huge investments were made to procure laptops and mobile device management systems were installed on employees’ phones. For the first time, banks allowed employees to access their core banking systems, which is essentially the back-end system that processes transactions across bank branches, from outside the office premises.

"The first thing we focused on is creating the infrastructure that enabled work from home. These included acquiring virtual private networks and virtual desktop infrastructure to ensure we were able to give all our employees access to work remotely. Also, for the first time, we allowed our customer contact centre employees to work remotely," said Sharma.

Following the success of the work-from-home policy, banks are increasingly realizing that not all roles require employees to be in office every day. That said, the question remains if banking will go back to pre-covid times once the pandemic is over. "Post-pandemic, while certain customer segments may still visit branches like they used to, a majority of customers will continue to use digital platforms," said Kulkarni.

Interestingly, 10 public sector banks were merged into four during the pandemic, which is no mean feat for a set of lenders that diverse. Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India merged with Punjab National Bank, Syndicate Bank merged with Canara Bank, and Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank merged with the Union Bank of India, and Allahabad Bank merged with Indian Bank.

Rajkiran Rai G., chief executive, Union Bank of India, said the lender used learnings from the earlier mergers of Bank of Baroda and State Bank of India (SBI), and planned it accordingly. "Post-merger is the biggest challenge and we gave day one connectivity to all branches through an Infosys product called Mobi-Teller. This was like an interim measure before a complete IT integration," said Rai.

Banking in India as we knew it has changed. Whether it can sustain the momentum to bring about new innovations will be something to watch out for. A deeper, more data-driven understanding of customers is likely to emerge to help deliver the right products at the right time using the right channel, said Monish Shah, partner, Deloitte India.

Former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar, who oversaw the operations during the initial phase of the pandemic, said rewriting the business continuity plan (BCP) was the biggest learning from the pandemic. The BCP of an organisation is designed to ensure continuity, resumption, and recovery of critical business processes in the event of any threat or disaster.

"Covid posed a different challenge to how BCPs are designed. It can affect a critical person handling BCP in all places at the same time. It was a new challenge. Therefore, it is necessary that BCPs are re-written for these kinds of situations. Criticality of IT centres and data centres is also important. For instance, how do you keep a back-up for that? These are questions that the crisis threw up and need to be looked at closely," he said.

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About Accenture:
Company LogoAccenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance.
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Today's Tip of the Day - SWAT Team

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, January 4, 2021

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Speech Technology


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.
PH: +1 (512) 333 4634

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

Call Tracking Metrics

Execute automated actions based on words spoken by your customer.

Our intelligent word detection and transcription tools make it easier for you to decipher the content of your customer conversations and automate action based on those insights.

Transform the audio of your calls into speaker-organized scripts so you can easily search your call log for specific words from a conversation, or automatically detect when words of intent are spoken by your customer.

Listen in on and highlight common patterns in order to execute triggers to initiate a new action or workflow, such as emailing a manager if the word “cancel” is spoken on a call. You can also set up to automatically redact content from a transcript, such as sensitive health information transmitted on a call.
PH: 8005771872


Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)
PH: +61404697151


Advanced speech recognition and natural language expertise that routes callers by simply asking ‘how can I help you?’. It allows customers to use their own words to ask for what they want and steers them to the right place.

Menus are eliminated altogether and contact centres can use a single inbound telephone number.
PH: 01442 458300

MattsenKumar LLC

SmartSpeech – The Best In Class Speech Analytics Software

An all-inclusive speech analytics application that enables you to visualize your audio using state-of-the-art speech recognition, transcription, and text analytics technologies.
PH: +91 99026 10044


InTone Suite - Emotion Detection via Voice Analysis
InTone™ is a voice analysis tool geared to detect genuine emotional and cognitive reactions regardless of the speaker’s language or chosen intonation.
It integrates into existing contact center environments and provides realtime indications of both client and agent emotional reactions throughout all ongoing calls. This unique set of indications assists managers and call center representatives to truly understand the client, improve call center performance, easily detect angry calls, elevate training efficiency and provide a tailored customer experience in every single call.

Nemesysco's contact center technology is also available in API and SDK forms.
Please visit our website for information about our product portfolio.
PH: +972-9-9605894

Voci Technologies Incorporated

V-Blaze Speech to Text
Our GPU-accelerated, AI-based technology enables you to deliver greater insights to the contact center by transcribing audio into analyzable text.

- Transcribe large volumes of recorded audio quickly
- Integrate transcripts with your analytics or business intelligence platform
- Reduce your hardware footprint and minimize total cost of ownership
PH: 412-621-9310


Voxjar is your one-stop-shop for driving better phone calls with your customers. We're a modern Conversation Analytics and Call Coaching Platform.

- Custom Charts and Dashboards give you the freedom to analyze calls from the highest level down to the details of each conversation.

- AI-Powered Speech Analytics transcribes, searches, and analyzes your reps' phone conversations, at scale.

- Quality Assurance and Call Coaching tools let you evaluate and improve agent performance with a human touch.

- Long term recording storage for historical analysis

All of these together provide the holistic, easy-to-use software that you need to manage a modern call team and create better con...
(read more)

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