The best sailors are constantly learning, pushing their limits and mapping new routes around the world. They redefine old practices and create the new. They not only survive dangers, but also discover and develop skills for moving ahead faster and with more confidence.
Kotak's journey so far has been driven by its indomitable spirit, ability to think creatively, and a strong conviction in its principles. From low-rate bill discounting to a unique instant car financing proposition, from a bold move to offer up to 6% interest on savings accounts to progressive investments in digital technologies, the Group is a pioneer in financial services.
The majority of the employees working from home, long thought to be improbable, has turned out to be a feasible and productive way of working. Investment in further digitisation and a remote working culture could lead to productivity gains and lower infrastructure and related costs. The Kotak Group is preparing for this by strengthening its technology infrastructure. It will also continue to build capabilities in terms of productivity measurement and management of remote teams.
The extended lockdown has established that financial services are no longer bound by physical barriers. Customer requests, transactions and queries can largely be processed remotely and with ease. Kotak believes that this behaviour, forced by social distancing, may become the norm as customers realise the convenience and comfort of digital banking.
The Bank continues to reimagine sales, services and processes with an increased focus on digital channels. For example, in May 2020, it became the first Indian bank to pioneer video-based KYC for new customers. Combined with Kotak's digital bank account, 811, a prospective customer can open an account and complete all KYC formalities on their smartphone in just under 10 minutes.
The benefits are self-evident. The Bank continued to acquire new customers even during the nationwide lockdown. Its digital channels let customers access banking services from the comfort of their homes. Between January and March 2020, 80% of new fixed deposits and 93% of recurring deposits were opened through digital channels. Thousands of customers access the Bank's voice and chatbots each day, while its call centres also effectively handled customer queries, with staff working from the safety of their homes.
Monthly service requests addressed by the Keya
chatbot in FY 2019-20
Monthly requests addressed by the Keya chatbot
for debit cards, cheque books and PIN tracking
811 is the Bank's pioneering digital initiative, launched in 2017, allowing prospective customers to open a savings account anytime and from anywhere, and to transact digitally at no cost.
In FY 2019-20, when new regulations reaffirmed the use of e-KYC through Aadhaar and biometric authentication with the voluntary consent of customers, Kotak was quick to respond. The Bank re-launched 811 for new customers, including those walking into branches, and corporate salary customers whom Bank personnel meet at their workplaces. Significant steps were taken to improve the functionality of the Kotak Mahindra Bank mobile app and the overall customer experience. As a result, the Bank acquired 44 lakh 811 accounts in FY 2019-20, and continued to grow even during the lockdown.
In total, 70% of new accounts during the year have been opened via digital channels. The Bank is constantly looking to extend the scope of digital acquisition methods, while also reimagining processes to disburse new loans faster than ever before.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has always been a pioneer in payments, with person-to-person solutions like KayPay, or digital merchant payments products like Bill Payments, Recharge and KayMall. The Bank has built merchant solutions around QR acquiring, Payment Gateways and Point of Sale devices. It is also the leading Bank on the Bharat Bill Payment System to acquire Billers onto the platform.
During FY 2019-20, the Bank introduced new digital payment methods, including UPI 2.0, which allows customers to create one-time mandates and apply for IPOs via the new UPI product enhancement from NPCI. The Bank also launched cardless cash withdrawal, allowing customers to use Net Banking or the Kotak mobile app to generate a code and withdraw cash cardlessly at its ATMs.
With its sustained progress on the payments front, Kotak Mahindra Bank has, for the third consecutive year, surpassed the Government's Digital Payments transaction targets, achieving ~107% of the target in FY 2019-20.
Kotak Mahindra Bank made significant progress on its Open Banking platform, aimed at creating a collaborative ecosystem for enterprises, fintechs and app developers. During the year, the Bank added multiple new relationships in areas including lending, payment and cash management.
Robotic Process Automation continues to be an important productivity enhancement tool for the Bank, and its use is being evaluated for many of the Bank's routine tasks. The focus now is on upgrading to intelligent automation through technology driven by Optical Character Recognition, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The Bank is also working with evolving technologies like facial recognition, video banking, integrated workflows, cognitive OCR, and Application Programming Interface (API) marketplaces to scale along with fintech partners.
The Kotak mobile banking app is now more comprehensive, with new features like forex cards, premature withdrawal of fixed deposits, payday loans, FASTag, insurance, Ola, UPI 2.0, and image credit cards. It is the first Indian bank to integrate Apple's Siri and Google Assistant within the app to allow customers to fetch their account balance using voice commands.
The Bank has scaled up newer channels like the Keya Chatbot and WhatsApp Banking, increasing their impact on business. It enabled Keya on all digital channels and successfully handled 4 lakh requests per month for debit cards, cheque books and PIN tracking. It also extended WhatsApp Banking services, building more customer communication and service request journals.
Kotak Mahindra Bank was the first Bank to launch the new NPCI eMandate API method as part of the eNACH product, allowing associated consumers and corporate firms to seamlessly create and approve recurring payment collection requests.
It was among the first banks to directly integrate with Ola Cabs, allowing customers to book cabs, trains, flights and buses on KayMall.
It collaborated with large external digital platforms like Google Pay to develop a new channel to disburse instant pre-approved personal loans to existing customers.
It launched "Kotak PayDay Loans" to offer instant short-term single instalment loans to salaried customers.
This year, Kotak Mutual Fund launched Mr. SIP, a campaign to comprehensively inform its customers about SIPs. It was supported by an AI-based conversational bot that was featured on Google Assist, Amazon Echo, and the AMC website.
Kotak Mutual Fund also introduced a video-based monthly personal business report card and a distributor portal, named Business Hub. The portal allows distributors to monitor and grow their businesses with Kotak Mutual Fund, access co-branded creatives, train themselves, and initiate transactions for investors.
Kotak Securities implemented a digital account opening process that allows Relationship Managers to remotely open brokerage accounts on behalf of their clients. Customers are only required to upload their documents and specimen signature and go through an in-person verification process via video call and eSign. It has also improved its lead management system to track the sales team, manage leads better, improve engagement and increase closure rates.
Kotak Securities introduced stock baskets by its research team, in partnership with smallcase, a fintech firm. This product allows clients to build their portfolios by investing in stock baskets and smallcases via a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) order.
The 'Call & Trade' service has been enhanced by redesigning its IVR and automatically recognising the client's registered contact number, making it much easier and quicker for customers to reach Kotak Securities and place an order
The navigation experience of the Kotak Stock Trader mobile app has been improved by featuring the 'frequently used sections' upfront, and also improving the overall experience on the website
The process of generating statements has been automated. Clients can now get their account / regulatory statements via email in minutes by placing an online request
An auto-pay feature for Mutual Fund SIPs has been introduced
Kotak Securities launched the Be More App, an end-to-end, fully integrated learning solution with multiple features, to drive a continuous learning culture. It facilitates personalisation by allowing users to access courses at their own pace.
Kotak General Insurance launched two microjourneys for its Personal Accident and Hospital Daily Cash products, allowing the Bank's 811 customers to buy new policies with minimal clicks and zero documentation.
Kotak General Insurance launched web- and mobile-based paperless policy issuance platforms to enable countrywide front-end teams to source and issue policies digitally, making policy issuance faster and more scalable.
Kotak Life Insurance revamped its customer portal to enhance the customer experience on mobile phones and aid self-service. The new portal, in its second full month, March 2020, saw 60,000+ unique customers conduct 28,000+ unique payments for a total premium amount of ₹ 105 crore.
Kotak Life Insurance introduced an extensive lead and activity management system for the sales team to increase sales productivity and effectiveness. It has in-built nudges that aid in following 'ideals' schedules to achieve sales goals.
A number of digitisation initiatives for customers, distributors and employees have been launched. Some examples include WhatsApp servicing and a better self-service portal for customers; a sales incentive engine for distributors; tools to allow distributors the flexibility to work from anywhere; and a mobile learning management system for employees and partners.