Indian millennials, numbered 440 million and growing, currently make up 46% of the workforce, and contribute to 70% of the total household income. And this generation of digitally savvy retail banking customers is increasingly going to do their banking very differently. They expect a significantly greater level of speed and convenience, with a much greater focus placed on customer experience.  Can banks in India stand up to the challenge of being as technologically savvy and digitally-centered as their retail banking customers? What are the areas that the banking industry needs to address if they are to bring millennials into the fold?

Aspire Systems caught up with Rajnish Khare, Head Digital Transformation, Social Media, New Business and Mobility Banking at HDFC Bank, to better understand the emerging trends around Indian millennials and banking. Following are excerpts from the interview.

Do you think there’s a shift in the overall attitude of the Indian millennial towards banks?

Rajnish: Definitely, there is a paradigm shift in the preferences and the overall attitude of the Indian millennial towards banks. The NextGen customers expect more transparency, quality services, and better rewards. It has become imperative for banks to keep pace with the changing and growing needs of the millennial customers. Personalization, Innovative solutions, Better rewards. and Simplicity will form the four pillars of Millennial Banking services. To stay ahead of the curve, banks will have to bring about a sea change in the way they conduct business by focusing more on solutions which not only provide simplified service but are also engaging. Also, we need to be present on platforms where our customers spend maximum time, be it on their mobile phones or social media. Providing “On the Go” banking services across multiple platforms coupled with enriching experiences will be the key to a “Delighted Customer”.

What are the top technology trends that can help redefine millennial banking strategies? Can any of these technologies help banks achieve a 360-degree customer view?

Rajnish: To keep ourselves abreast of the evolving needs and behaviour of the millennial customers, a combination of agile and innovative technologies needs to be implemented. Major technology trends that will redefine banking experience for millennials will be Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Omnichannel solutions, and hyper-personalization.

Big brands are already vying on Artificial Intelligence backed technology to stay ahead of the curve. There is a behavioural shift in the way millennials want to engage with businesses. The young audience expects instant solution with minimum efforts and that’s where chatbots backed by Artificial Intelligence are crafting a distinct space in the banking domain. Conversational banking and bot based customer care service is already being popularized by banks and have received a positive response from the tech-savvy, younger audience of the country.

The next big thing that’s going to be a trendsetter will be personalization. To maintain relevance and achieve higher traction, personalization is important. Hyper-personalization will help in capturing the location of the customer, identify his/her need and accordingly push a contextually rich notification. This will help in creating a “wow” moment for the customer and ensure customer loyalty.

Other technological advancements that are going to pave the way in redefining banking practices will be Augmented Reality and Omnichannel marketing. Big brands are already banking on augmented reality for engaging with their target customers. Banks are always perceived as laggards in the field of customer engagement and augmented reality will help in correcting this perception of our new age customers. On the other hand, Omnichannel marketing will help in achieving a holistic view of customer behaviour across channels.

It would be an achievement when Banks will be able to identify the pain points or need of the customer, provide him/her with an alternative almost instantly and persuade him/her to complete a transaction/task. This will ensure that customers are provided with a seamless experience across multiple digital touch points.

To conclude, an ecosystem with all the technologies in place, channelized towards enhanced customer experience and gaining maximum insights about customer behaviour will help banks in reinventing banking for the youth.

Bottom line

In India, several private sector banks seem to be in a mad rush to win over this emerging affluent segment by showing their digital competence and superiority with various apps and AI-driven digital initiatives. What still eludes most banks, however, is the importance of customer-centricity as a key driver of competitive advantage. As Rajnish said, it’s not just about augmenting the banking journeys of millennials and enabling them to carry out their banking with minimum fuss. At its core, it’s about the bank’s ability to listen to their needs and use that knowledge for the customer’s benefit. It can open up a whole new world of more intimate customer understanding in order to inform current and future decisions and deliver experiences that are more empowering and compelling than ever before. This will increasingly be the key to connect with millennials and succeed in the digital world.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author and do not represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any institution or agency.

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