Last year, Yes Bank realized that managing one million customers across India wasn’t an easy task, especially when pursuing an aggressive business goal of increasing the mobile banking user base to 5 million in 5 years. India’s fifth largest private sector bank, which has 630 branches across 375 cities, couldn’t ignore the customer shift to mobile banking while planning its strategies to enhance customer experience across branches.
As part of its ‘DIGICAL – Digital +Physical’ strategy, blending both offline and online channels leveraging innovation and technology, it began looking for a digital partner to build a scalable platform to host multiple apps. One of its demands was that the platform shouldn’t have a vendor lock-in and should offer them the flexibility to use the services of multiple partners.
Yes Bank chose IBM’s MobileFirst Platform to offer secure apps to enable seamless migration from high-cost touch points – such as transactions conducted in the bank branch – to a more personalized digital banking service.
“As the bank is young and innovative, it wanted to do things differently. It had done an analysis of customer behavior and was looking for a unique design for the new-age app,” said Naveen Gupta, Asia Pacific MobileFirst Business Unit, IBM, adding that it took over 10-12 months from initial discussions to implementation of the tailor-made solution.
Early this year, Yes Bank implemented the IBM MobileFirst Platform that provided technology support to secure, personalize and integrate data from multiple sources for a better user experience. It also supported the bank’s move into retail banking and the digital payments sector.
With that, Yes Bank has been able to reduce time-to-market for its apps by 60 percent, which is especially important as it plans to scale the number of banking apps being offered across its retail and commercial banking segments.
“In this highly competitive industry, banks are moving towards more sophisticated mobile strategies, supported by apps that are context sensitive and provide superior levels of customer experience. IBM has deep experience in this space, helping organizations like Yes Bank to map out mobile-driven customer journeys and build long time loyalty,” said Hitesh Shah, Director, Software Segment, IBM India.
Going forward, Yes Bank will not only focus on the mobile banking experience for retail and HNI customers but will also use the IBM platform to launch a digital wallet for its young social media and smartphone users. It plans to introduce enterprise apps to support SME, business and corporate clients with a focus on user experience and strong security features.
The RoI Factor
Forrester, in association with IBM, recently assessed the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of the IBM’s MobileFirst Platform and found that the latter delivered a 107 percent return on investment with an eight-month payback period. Key areas of savings included:
* Reduced integration effort
* Lowered application maintenance and upgrade effort
* Decreased total app deployment cycle times by 39 percent
The IBM MobileFirst platform, in general, can be used to build and deploy mobile apps, or integrate apps built with the help of third-party tools. It is optimized for native, HTML5 and hybrid development, or any combination of these approaches.
Other banks which have adopted the IBM MobileFirst platform include HDFC Securities, Ratnakar Bank and ING Vysya Bank.
Mobile platform adoption
Says Gartner Research Director Sandy Shen,“We can expect to see strong adoption of mobile platforms by BFSI players in the next five years due to the strong demand for mobile apps for both B2C and B2B employee apps.”
“Not sure if we can claim IBM’s MobileFirst Platform is cost- and time-efficient. It depends on your existing application platform, backend systems and in-house development skills. Due to the comprehensiveness of the tool, it usually requires quite some training and learning of the development team to master the toolset. Also, custom integration is often required.,” she adds.
According to Shen, the prime considerations for a bank before adopting a mobile platform should be: In-house IT skills – whether the team can use the tool to develop the mobile app, and how much effort is needed; ease of integration with the backend system; and the ability to manage and control the apps to ensure security.
“This partnership with IBM is a pivotal development in designing Intelligent Middleware, CRM and Mobile Enterprise Applications to boost customer experience, provide deeper engagement and significantly reduce the time and cost of service. We are targeting a 500 percent increase in our mobile banking user base in the next 18 months using the mobility platform,” said Ritesh Pai, Sr. President and Country Head- Digital Banking, Yes Bank.