Decimal Technologies Repeats Success with Kotak’s 811

Kotak Mahindra Bank’s launch of digital banking platform ‘811’ was a game changer for India’s banking industry. And Decimal Technologies has been a key technology partner for the bank right from its launch to making sure the product runs smoothly every single day.

That is an important accomplishment as digital banking has been and will remain a key differentiator for Indians banks if they are to survive a highly competitive and disruptive space.

Here’s how the success story unfolded:

The Client: Kotak Mahindra Bank

The Journey:

A few years ago, Kotak Mahindra Bank set out to embark on a digital journey when it partnered with Decimal Technologies.

Specifically, it was seeking to launch an innovative product that could take out the entire friction from the customer on-boarding process. And that is when it selected Decimal Technologies and has relied on the company as its partner since.

Selecting Decimal as partner helped them not only cut costs but gain a reliable and agile partner for a massive product launch – the rollout of 811.

The Challenge:

Since Kotak’s digital banking product was going to be an industry-first, there were many unknowns around volume and usage. The bank’s newly-appointed Chief Digital Officer Deepak Sharma wanted to work with a partner that was not too large or too small, and who understood digital. It also sought a partner who was able to commit time and bandwidth.

“That is when Decimal partners invited Kotak to its office and we showed them openly our platform and made a commitment that we will, in fact, take up an office space in Mumbai near their office and work alongside them,” said Lalit Mehta, co-founder of Decimal Technologies.

The proximity was a huge draw for the bank and it also helped Decimal deliver a solution in under 90 days – a breakthrough for both parties.

Among the attributes that was important for Kotak as it started were speed, commitment, and a partnership-based model – and that is exactly what Decimal helped deliver.

As the project was much more than a conventional digital journey, Decimal was also able to advise on crucial operational aspects. For example, as Kotak was spending a significant amount on logistics, it recommended the bank should adopt ‘BYOD’ or Bring Your Own Device, which allowed the bank’s sales staff to bring their own personal phone that simplified the process in a big way. This helped solve a huge pain point of logistics management  and cut costs, while enhancing the experience of the sales  staff. Especially as they did not have to charge and carry two different devices.

With the advent of Aadhaar, customers could also start opening bank accounts all on their own on their phones. Kotak also approached Decimal to go live with ‘811’, its digital banking product, quickly – a high stakes launch for the bank. Despite the uncertainty, Decimal worked with Kotak to stabilise the system following the overwhelming response.

Overall, Decimal was involved from rolling out the product, stabilising and even at the ideation stage. Even today, Decimal continues to manage significant part of 811 platform, which currently helps in the opening of 100% digital saving accounts.

The Solution:

Decimal Technologies delivered the solution in 6-weeks time, and helped the bank manage the large volumes of user requests following its launch of 811.

Industry-specific challenges:

Any institution wanting to embark on a digital journey has to do two things: Run the bank and also manage growth. And most of the times the urgency and attention is to just focus on running the bank.

However, it is important that digital requires that banks dedicate separate resources. And that is because various internal aren’t usually in tune with the demands of digital, or experienced enough to manage its growth.

“That is one big reason why digital fails at banks who just depend on their internal teams have 20 other things that they has to solve at any given point of time”

Getting banks to get out of that thinking is a challenge but some banks have been able to appoint their small teams, usually led by a chief digital officer, who can help manage technology vendors and plan solutions. But many still choose to work with niche vendors who can help them manage specific aspects of their technology rollouts.

The Main Takeaways:

  • The bank was able to find a reliable technology partner who was able to deliver the solution in 6- weeks time, while ensuring the platform was scalable
  • Since starting the digital journey, the bank has nearly doubled its customer base. This became possible because of the success of the 811 platform.
  • The bank was able to leapfrog customer base without investing in physical infrastructure which is a typical requirement for banks looking to increase revenue through customer acquisition.
  • The bank hopes to accelerate customer acquisition by 100% in the next year with the help of Decimal.

To learn more about how Decimal’s technology platform can help with digital innovation with the right mix of agility and hands-on engagement, reach out at online@decimal.co.in for more information.

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