New Age Corporate Banking – APIs, Blockchain, Modular and More

Since the turn of this century, the advent of Internet and mobility has taken the world by storm. From snail mails to emails, from brick and mortar to click and carry, from not so smart phones to smart phones, ride hailing to cinema ticket booking, internet touches almost all the aspects of our daily lives.

Retail has led the change by being in forefront of this revolution, so much so that customers today are spoilt for choice. This is probably the most comfortable generation since the dawn of mankind, which can get things done at the flick of a mobile phone button. Consumer banking rode on the Retail bandwagon by piggy backing on the “mobile revolution”. Banking has now proliferated to the last mile with novel innovations like apps, wallets, biometric, immediate payment services etc.

While innovations in Consumer banking has exploded exponentially, the impact of mobility has been tepid in the Corporate space. But, that too is set to change. With technology innovations like BlockChain, API Banking, Micro Services, IOT kicking in and the ripple effect of Retail innovations washing ashore in the Corporate space, Corporate is set to become the next Retail.

Personalization is going to be the key in Corporate, with Security, Self Help features, Collaboration services playing enablers. APIs or Open Banking is going to enable personalization a long way for Corporate. With each corporate having the power to link to their bank using interfaces, Nth level customization has suddenly become a possibility that can be achieved with minimal efforts. Modularity will enable mobility, especially for critical features like balances, approvals, notifications.

APIs are going to create a “Bank inside my Premises” scenario, where it will now be possible to embed banking services deep inside ERP systems. There is a tremendous opportunity for Convergence, wherein banking functionalities can now be accessed from within a Corporate ERP. This reduces network traffic, better onsite validations, straight through at source and hence gives a better customer experience. The fractured experience of being logged into multiple systems, data duplication, repetition of activity etc will be removed. It is obvious that the entire architecture needs to be modular at the omni channel level, that will enable corporate to pick and choose the services they want for consumption.

Services like BlockChain and applications like Ripple that use them for remittances are the new age unicorns which need to be emulated. Corporate customers too need instant gratification, real time status updates, minimal jargon and maximum usefulness. Blockchain gives complete control of data to each party, with complete transparency, audit trail and faster settlement cycles. There is parity of status since all entities would stand on an equal footing. Blockchain democratizes the transaction workflow.

At Clayfin we believe that for Corporate services to be relevant, they need to come down from the lofty citadel and engage more deeply with customers at a personal level. Because all customers are coming from a Retail background and they would expect the same level of “personal attention” they get from them.

Padmanabhan R

Padmanabhan RCareer Banker, Galleried Photographer and Travel Columnist. Also develop banking applications in free time. Finished my CA and have done my tour of duty with organizations like Times Group, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank, before landing up in Clayfin to create digital banking channel solutions.

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