The Covid-19 has created a new normal which seems to be lasting for a while now. Just like any other pandemic which comes unannounced and creates a havoc, Covid-19 has made every populated land across the world suffer. What’s more surprising is the fact that the European countries which claim to have the best health care facilities have also faced the wrath of this pandemic. Highly skilled doctors, world class infrastructure and high standards of living do not complete the puzzle. The missing part of the puzzle is ‘Technology,’ an element which puts other three into work. Confused? Let’s take the case of India. Despite having a poor doctor-to-citizen ratio, despite an average medical infrastructure and a huge population living below the poverty line, India played smart with its Arogya Setu mobile application. The smartphone revolution swept the country by storm and courtesy to 3G, 4G services and better connectivity even in rural areas, smartphones are being used by young and old, the haves and have-nots alike.
Aarogya Setu App, India’s main contact tracing initiative, was launched on 2nd April 2020. The app was developed by the National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. Aarogya Setu is designed to keep track of other app users that a person cames in contact with. It then alerts its app users if any of the contacts tests positive for COVID-19. In Chennai, a clear plan of action has been drawn and Sector Health Workers and NGO outreach workers have been deployed for door-to- door survey to screen for fever, cough and breathlessness in both non-slum areas and slum areas. The Sector Health workers visit 100-150 houses daily and for every 15 sectors, there is one supervisor. A total of 11,957 sector health workers and 754 supervisors have been deployed till now.
Corporation of Chennai has also launched a mobile app, GCC Corona Monitoring. General public can use the app to report to the authorities in case they have any Covid-19 related symptoms. Once reported they get contacted by the doctors and get required attention. A person gets tracked by the ICMR, right from the time she/ he takes a Covid test at home or hospital till the treatment is over. The contact tracing is done to ensure tracking of people who have been in contact with this person for the previous few days.
This might sound as if invasion of privacy of an individual, but as long as the data is kept only for monitoring, it is good for the people to avoid community spread and contain it at the very early stage. The overall benefit seems to be really huge for the population on the whole. We as a country have done really well in fighting this pandemic, considering the size of the population, our basic attitude towards hygiene and discipline.
With technology empowering the health care and its consequences being evident, let us explore what technology has done to the wealth care. Since 15+ years, MSF has been in the business of building high performance and highly scalable solutions to cater to the needs of the financial services firms. This pandemic has in a way proved the robustness of Market Simplified’s solutions. With stock markets hitting all-time lows and people learning smart lessons from previous recessions, trading applications built by Market Simplified witnessed a huge surge in the number of active users. A brokerage client of Market Simplified was able to record highest-ever average monthly new accounts of over 1 lakh since the lockdown started in March 2020. Close to 20 lakh trades were executed on a daily basis. This speaks volumes of Market Simplified’s technological excellence and robustness of the platforms. Post this pandemic the world is more likely to be technology driven. Increasing smart phone penetration and the financial literacy will certainly help the cause.
A plethora of technology innovations are also likely to happen in the wealth care or financial services space. Features like hyper-personalization, much popularized by companies like Netflix to match a consumer’s likings with content, is also redefining customer expectations from financial service providers. Firms gather key customer data from multiple channels of interaction to build an accurate customer profile. Aided by big data and social media analytics, customers can receive highly personalized offerings and recommendations from BFSIs. Voice recognition is another key area of interest for technology companies as it plays a key role in making the user experience completely touchless (the new normal post Covid-19) with personal banking and placing trades in capital markets also happening through Alexa, Siri and Google Home. Another significant area leveraging AI/ML is the Robo-advisors. First one being brought to the market by Schwab, it has now become a key differentiator in the wealth management space. Many banks have also reduced their branch offices, replaced them with ‘Virtual’ banks leveraging VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). Also, a trading desk sometimes using up to six screens gets replaced by one VR-lens enabling traders to look at even more data in real-time.
From the look of things, every company is a financial services company. Customers pay the company for services availed. Companies accept payments, pay the vendors, give custom made offers to loyal customers, involve cash backs and many more monetary aspects. All such transactions create a mini fintech ecosystem within every organization. Another trend observed is the smartphone based touchless payments gaining prominence.
To sum it up, smartphones have become the medium of confluence for Health Care & Wealth Care. From enabling contact tracing to booking online consultations with doctors and opening demat accounts from home to making safe investments during the pandemic, the smartphone has made the confluence possible. The future certainly belongs to smartphones as they bring everything from your health to wealth at fingertips.
The word ‘game’ takes us back to the games of our childhood days, where we actively used to play games and sometimes tried to work around the rules to win creatively. If you remember those games with your friends, what element made them hold our attention? They weren’t a source of income, and definitely not a real career option. And yet they were highly engaging – in many cases, more engaging than reality itself. Times changed. We’ve all grown from being kids crazy for games to being professionals doing serious real work. But games still invoke the child within us. So what was that magic sauce?
Meet the basic foundation of modern day gamification.
Gamification is defined as the application of typical elements of games (such as point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically to encourage engagement with a product or service. (If you are a person who likes formulae, Gamification = Existing Environment + Game Mechanics.)
Gamification in essence attempts to combine work with fun, creating an exciting experience for the user.
The basic idea of gamification is to incorporate the elements, design, and principles of games into a non-game environment in order to engage, educate as well as bond with customers. It can be said to be one of the best ways to painlessly and cost-effectively drift towards increased usage of digital channels instead of physical. And digital channels, as anyone can agree, result in significantly reduced operational/processing costs.
The concept of gamification may sound interesting. But are you wondering how such a concept can be applied to a transactional and unrelated segment such as banking? The trick is simple – ultimately, you – a banker – are dealing with a user who most probably would love to re-live the fun part of his/her childhood.
Gamification is the not the product that you are selling them. Gamification is the process through which you are going to guide them to buy.
By offering a unique experience, you sustainably create more chances to make a sale; rather than waiting for demand to catch up with supply, you are creating demand.
The next question a bank would ask is: Why? I’m doing great, I have plenty of customers and plenty of offerings to keep them happy. Why should I be interested in gamification? The answer lies in the changing demographics of your customers. Enter the new generation – the millennials.
Remember the long queues in the banks a decade ago? Don’t expect millennials to follow the same path. For millennials, everything revolves around convenience.
Banks can no longer afford to sit back and wait for customers to come by themselves to open accounts or use any other products.
Banks can no longer take customer loyalty for granted. Millennial customers of today are spoilt for choice. Give them a better deal and they will change teams in a jiffy. The modern user is driven by quality of experience, and hence always seeks a better experience. Gamification is a great way to give them that better experience and engagement. Apart from just increasing engagement, loyalty and financial literacy can also be grown via gamification.
What’s the way forward?
Gamification is not something new. It has been gradually evolving for a century now. Customer loyalty programs, earning bonuses, and redeeming points – all of these are gamification in action.
Technology in the form of wearables, fitness apps, and trackers, has enabled tracking of fitness and health data at unprecedented levels of detail, and can generate valuable insights regarding users’ health and well-being. The same concepts translate into the financial services world as well. For example, banks can gamify customer-facing tools to improve customers’ understanding of their own financial health, and also allow them to monitor progress towards other aspects like personalised savings targets.
For example, a prominent American Bank is using gamification in the form of different applications by the help of which customers are able to keep a check on their financials as well as health simultaneously. They introduced an app that helps people achieve their desired behavior of saving money by using a person’s daily activities to trigger automatic savings.
In the same manner, Banks now-a-days are trying to gamify customers daily activities. Each activity triggers a small amount of savings automatically with no extra effort. Notifications provide an instant gratification.
Gamification is also an effective tool to inform people about financial products, and therefore show a way to meeting regulatory compliance obligations on things like risk disclosures.
There is practically limitless potential in this domain. A few banks have already identified this potential, and are actively working towards incorporating gamification into their strategy at a grand scale. More players in the industry are poised to do so. The question is, are you?
About Market Simplified: Market Simplified is a thought leader in revolutionising and digitising products for financial institutions by continuously innovating and simplifying finance. We empower our customers with a cutting-edge digital experience that is highly personalised and enhanced for the end users with our ‘Experience Engineering’ platform driven by Analytics, AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain technologies. Our clientele includes industry leaders like OptionsXpress (Charles Schwab), Currenex (State Street), MB Trading, Maybank Kim Eng, Kotak Mahindra Bank, National Stock Exchange of India, and many others across the globe.
About the author: Deepti hails from the Business Development team at Market Simplified and her business card reads Business Development Executive. She is obsessed with wanderlust and never says no for trips and tours. She claims herself a foodie and cooks well too.
Less than two months ago, Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) was awarded Best Retail Bank of The Year by India Banking Summit. How did they beat the competition to get there? What gave them that competitive advantage? Most importantly, can other banks pull off such a feat too?
Founded in 1916, KVB is a veteran private sector player in the Indian banking industry. Through its extensive network of 788 branches and 1803 ATMs, KVB has deposits of 56 thousand crores, and a total business of 1 lakh crores. With a capital ratio of 11.79%, KVB is a stable and reliable bank conforming to RBI’s standards. However, KVB had a thorn in its side — legacy systems.
Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to switch their bank compared to Baby Boomers. Should banks be worried? Can customer loyalty be restored? Where do banks go wrong and lose their valuable millennial customers?
Millennials wish for minimum fuss in their banking activities. They have high expectations on technology to make things simpler for them. The sheer size of this segment in the Indian market makes it difficult for banks to give it a miss. At 440 million and growing, millennials currently make up 46% of the workforce and 70% of the total household income.
It is not just a journey of 15 years. It is about the people walking alongside, the tenacity of dreams, and the partnerships that made them real.We’re celebrating 15 years of Market Simplified India Limited.
More than a decade of delivering mobile solutions for financial institutions across the globe, it’s always nice to mark special occasions with employees who are the backbone for any organisation. Market Simplified was reminded of that pleasure on 25th September 2019 as we held the first of several celebrations to mark our 15th Anniversary. Surrounded by our employees and a host of special guests, we hosted a gala event at Taj Fisherman Cove, Chennai.
The pattern of taste of each individual is contrasting and disparate. This is no one-size-fits-all recipe that will satisfy and earn a badge of a universal harmonious palate. The common strategy adopted is the preponderance of affection and antagonism to decide an upshot, a common minimum programme in Indian context. How far will this be successful? Unfortunately the affection quotient is spontaneous & dynamic; influenced by epigenome, emotional framework consciousness, observations , knowledge, environment, cognitive morale, physical state and plenty of other coerce forces.
In this part of the country he is a phenomenon. A 69 year old has done it again what he has been doing for decades now. A wave of magic swept the country again with his new flick hitting the screens on January 9th 2020. Undisputed Super Star of India yet again delivered his magic and by now you must be aware that we are talking about the movie ‘Darbar’ and the man himself ‘Rajini’ sir.
Walk for Plastic is a classic example of how a person with a good cause can have a snowball effect on the society. What started as a single man mission has now spread its wings across the globe and has become a catalyst of change across all age groups. Initially a 3D artist, now renowned for his works in the field of social service, Mr.Gowtham is the man behind making Walk for Plastic a global phenomenon. He is recently felicitated by Radio city as Chennai’s best citizen for 2020.