We all must have seen government offices or Banks with large bundle of files stored in a dark room for years without any usage and to be discarded after some age (I have eaten Bhelpuri on someone’s Bank statement). All these files used to carry so much of data but due to its physical nature, it was abandoned unless an application or customer would have come with some query which would require the operation folks to clear the dust of the files. Couple of decades ago, Technology came into the picture and gave freedom of life to majority of these files. Physical became digital and all the data is stored digitally and not in piles of files. Gradually, various functions of banks went digital and shaped digital ecosystem.

Though there are various digital verticals in banking domain to talk out, here, let’s discuss the case of Mobile Banking. Ever since Mobile Banking was launched, banks gained reach and richness. Though it changed many aspects, one of the key factor was rapid boost in volume of transactions. Traditionally, where users were visiting branch or ATM to do any transaction, now have the power to transact with handheld devices. All started with P2P transfers and gradually the financial institutes brought whole lot of products under their umbrella of Mobile banking – Mobile Top ups, Bill Payments, Tax Payments, school fees, Ticket booking, merchant payments and what not. Also, the government abetted digital initiatives by setting up NPCI which brought NEFT and IMPS, recently UPI which elevated the transaction volume with immense pace.

The above image depicts data for 6 months; look at the No of Transactions. All together we are talking about 7 Billion + transactions, think of the amount of data it would have generated. The banking institutes are creating Data Lakes every month and at some point would be erasing all the data as they would need huge infrastructure to store and maintain the data and the cost would be essential factor.

Have you ever thought, what the institutes would be doing with all these data? Is it just required for Audit and Logging purpose to address the needs of customers and regulations? Certainly not, there are infinite opportunities to use the data and create something interesting and useful. Latest technologies and innovations are helping the institutes to build personalized journeys for each of its customer and pushing the customer to execute certain task. We often get push notifications into banking apps reminding us to pay our bills, offering discount on movie tickets or a special interest loan! Banks have been using big data with technology platforms and deriving specific data sets which are used by analytical engines. The output is consumed by various stakeholders and assists them to do tweaking and plan new products.

Let’s discuss a scenario where a Bank has 1 million users. Bank already having the data can run analytics and classify the customers in 3 segments

1. Customer having not registered for Mobile Banking

2. Customer registered for Mobile Banking but not using it

3. Customers using Mobile Banking for some specific services

Now, Bank has the data so they can plan campaigns for each of the segment. Some immediate thoughts which came to my mind are

  • Send SMS/Emailer to customers not registered for Mobile banking and try to get them onto mobile banking app
  • Design some offers like cashback on first bill payment so that the customers who has mobile banking but not using would be encouraged to use it
  • Drive the customers to use the services which they haven’t tried yet.

These are just some thoughts, Marketing folks would do a much better job over here and design the campaigns. The campaigns results are again used for analysis and future consumption. Here, AI/ML would make big impact in future and design robust systems which will learn and make adjustment in real-time without human intervention to ensure growth. All departments and stakeholders can use the data lakes to derive prime information for their respective functions and make enhancements.

Data has incarnated with digital Avatar and would remain center of attraction for all till something magical comes up!!!

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