The Future of Banking in a Digital World – Identifying Opportunities and Challenges for India
Technology has played a critical role in the financial intermediation sector, with a secular growth in the digitisation of banks. Over the last decade, lower operating costs and enhanced efficiencies that come with digitisation has facilitated increased innovation and heterogeneity in the banking sector, notably through the rise of digital-only banking models, either as digital offerings from incumbent banks, bank-fintech partnerships or as licensed digital-only banks.
These developments become critical in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has accentuated the role of digital delivery of financial services. Going forward, as society adapts to the realities of a post-pandemic context, technology is likely to play a much larger role, particularly in the context of customer segments that have traditionally remained underserved such as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), small entrepreneurs, low-income households, etc. With an agile technological infrastructure, digital banking models are equipped to leverage technological solutions to develop customer centric solutions. Such models can expand eligibility for financial products, including loans through innovative risk assessment framework that rely on big data analytics. However, they also raise concerns around consumer protection, data security, transparency, etc. Given the increased emphasis on technology to provide access to banking and other financial services in this new paradigm, it is essential to identify and deploy meaningful interventions that will balance the objectives of innovation, consumer welfare and competition.
To assess the effects of digitisation in the banking sector and discuss its role in supporting financial inclusion and promoting competition and innovation in the banking sector, the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy held a webinar titled ‘The Future of Banking in a Digital World – Identifying Opportunities and Challenges for India’. This webinar was in furtherance of our independent project report Deconstructing Digital-Only Banking Models | A Proposed Policy Roadmap for India.
The webinar aimed to assess the role of digital banking models in promoting innovation in the banking sector to design customer centric solutions. In doing so, the webinar focused on how such models may be leveraged to deepen financial inclusion initiatives. The discussion from the webinar will play a key role in shaping public policy reforms in the digital banking sector to leverage such models to support traditionally underserved customer segments, such as MSMEs as well as to understand the role of technology in banking in the near future.
List of issues for discussion
- Unpacking the digital banking models – How bank and fintech companies are embracing technology to provide access to various banking services to customers?
- Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on small business and how digital banking may be leveraged to support small businesses
- Identify existing challenges, including regulatory bottlenecks that inhibits banks and fintech companies to fully harness the potential of such digital banking models
- Determine policy priorities to leverage and scale such digital banking models to deepen financial inclusion
The Keynote Address was delivered by Dr Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India.
The panel comprised of the following experts:
Pramod Rao, Group General Counsel at ICICI Bank
Shashank Kumar, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Razorpay
Sean Hunter, Chief Information Officer at Oaknorth Bank
Hemant Kshirsagar, India Fintech Lead at EY
Shehnaz Ahmed, Fintech Lead at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (Moderator)
Watch the webinar below: