Banks are undergoing a significant transformation, with radical digitization leading the way. Experiential omnichannel banking is taking over transactional counterparts. Competition is intensifying, and margins are shrinking. Banks are under tremendous pressure to deliver personalized digital-first experiences while optimizing cost efficiency, operational excellence, and compliance.
Need to modernize CORE
Though Centralized Online Real-time Environment (CORE) Banking drives branch-agnostic transactions, banks still grapple with inefficiencies that negatively impact customer experience, operations, and revenue. Legacy infrastructures, rising consumer appetite for quick and seamless digital experiences, macroeconomic challenges, regulatory headwinds, and technological advances further contribute to the banking woes. As legacy banking infrastructures lack seamlessness, flexibility, and scalability, banks struggle to deploy financial technology to support innovative product releases, quick go-to-market speed, frequent modifications/upgrades, and regulatory compliance changes.
To stay relevant and ahead of the curve, banks must modernize their digital core banking infrastructure. Modern API-based core banking provides a customer-centric next-gen platform that enables faster innovation and higher efficiency by overcoming the limitations of their current core architectures. The market size is growing at a steady 18.3% and is expected to reach $40.67 billion by 2029.
In this blog, we will explore how banks can achieve cost and operational efficiencies by making the big shift from legacy to digital core banking solutions.
Digital transformation in banks
Digital transformation is more than just implementing new technology in the banking system. It involves a fundamental shift in how banks think, operate, and deliver customer value. The goal of digital transformation is to leverage platformization and technology to unlock speed and innovation and optimize cost and operations while managing security and resilience.
In India, the central government has embarked on a journey of digital transformation with the aim of enhancing the banking experience, social security, and financial inclusion. This transformation involves a shift from legacy systems to digital core banking, enabling more efficient and accessible financial services for the masses.
Big shift: Legacy to digital core banking
Core banking has evolved in leaps and bounds. What started out as a simple computerized banking system with monolithic codes and mainframes in the 70s has metamorphosed into low-code, API-first, cloud-agnostic platforms today. This platformization has been a key development for banks, as they transformed from being only a system to a holistic platform. Core banking platforms give banks the agility to scale and fully leverage the immense potential of the ongoing digital revolution to satisfy customers, employees, regulators, and partners.
Legacy core banking systems are filled with silos, code rigidity, and complexities. Though traditional banks have automated financial processes and have newer distribution channels, the legacy banking system hinders their agility and flexibility to adapt to evolving factors like customer journeys and preferences, ecosystem changes, and vendor lock-ins. Additionally, they also result in higher maintenance costs, slower time to market, and do not support instant releases.
Next-generation core banking platforms break down these barriers with modern, scalable, and open architectures using lightweight codes. They leverage APIs and advanced technologies to deliver simplicity, cost efficiency, speed, interoperability, flexibility, security, and future readiness. Modern core banking systems play a crucial role in accelerating digital transformation for banks, enabling them to deliver a secure and superior banking experience to their customers. By leveraging advanced technology, these systems optimize costs and operational efficiencies, creating a seamless flow of operations that benefits both the bank and its customers.
Optimizing cost and operational efficiencies
To keep costs in check, banks need to prepare to take on uncertainties by enhancing operational and cost efficiencies. The first step is to optimize costs associated with maintenance and processing. Modernizing core banking systems reduce costs associated with core applications and hardware processing by consolidating siloed applications. The process cuts down maintenance costs which are usually high for legacy systems.
Digital core banking systems drive operational efficiency by standardizing business processes, eliminating manual operations, and implementing straight-through processing capabilities. It also assists smooth outsourcing of non-core operations and allows the operational proficiencies to focus on critical core tasks. By modernizing the core, banks can standardize and streamline end-to-end business processes, improve regulatory compliance, and expedite go-to-market speed for new products. They can seamlessly replace the siloed product-centric legacy system with a next-gen, customer-centric, and hyper-personalized core banking system.
Core banking solutions offer a comprehensive platform for banks to gain accurate insights into their accounts. They provide a range of capabilities that include customer onboarding, customer relationship management, account opening, loan origination workflow, credit analysis, deposit accounts, instant reporting, and enterprise content management. The end-to-end platform spans across business lines and enables banks to streamline operations and efficiently manage their accounts from a single system.
Some of the key benefits of next-gen digital core banking systems include the following.
- Simplicity in scaling up
- Agile enough to accelerate new product launches
- Incredible go-to-market speed
- Onboarding and setting up in just a few clicks
- Advanced security systems for data storage and fraud prevention management
- Centralized access to account aggregators, mobile and third-party applications
Turing Core Banking Solution (CBS)
Striking the right balance between high-quality services, operational excellence, compliance, and cost optimization is Turing, our core banking solution that’s revolutionizing the banking industry.
Turing is a cutting-edge core banking platform that deploys a state-of-the-art tech stack and micro-services architecture with licensed and open-source platform compatibility. Its low code development capability and API-first, cloud-agnostic approach positions Turing as a modern, future-ready core banking solution. Turing enables banks to deliver top-notch neo-banking services, customized Personal Finance Management (PFM), cutting-edge fixed deposit stack, personalized/custom-built debit cards, convenient flexi deposits, and futuristic gold deposits. Banks can launch new products with minimum effort by leveraging pre-built modules and components, allowing them to stay ahead of the competition.
Innovation and inclusion
Although digital payment methods made transactions convenient, there were cases where senior citizens, underprivileged communities, and non-tech-savvy people encountered difficulties in banking. This was primarily due to the lack of smartphones, payment cards, and the inability to remember passcodes or PINs.
To ensure digital financial services are accessible to all, Turing supports the Aadhaar-enabled Payment Systems (AePS).
Aadhaar Enabled Payment System has the potential to revolutionize digital financial services in India by providing universal access to financial services. This system allows individuals to conduct financial transactions using their Aadhaar ID and biometric authentication, thus eliminating the need for a smartphone or payment card and to remember passcodes or PINs.
What is Aadhaar-enabled Payment System
AePS is a unique payment system that allows anyone with an Aadhaar-enabled bank account to access online transactions via micro-ATM, kiosks, or mobile devices using Aadhaar authentication. With this system, users need not visit a bank branch to deposit cash, transfer money, and withdraw funds from their bank account without using a smartphone, payment card, or any other document.
To know more about Aadhaar Enabled Payment System, click here.
AePS implementation – Gayatri Bank
We deployed Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) for Gayatri Bank, a cooperative urban bank in Telangana that offers economic support and hassle-free digitized financial services to underbanked and unbanked populations in India.
At Gayatri Bank, most transactions involved senior citizens, and less tech-savvy customers from remote unbanked corners. For them possessing a smartphone or remembering PINs is a huge challenge. Thus, they were not able to access digital banking services.
Gayatri bank needed assistance in fixing this problem and facilitating hassle-free financial access to people across all parts of society. Another major challenge was the cost involved in opening new branches and ATMs and issuing cheque books, cards and managing the KYC process. In underbanked rural areas, getting KYC documents in order and enabling efficient usage of branches and ATM machines is still a struggle for banks as well as customers.
How we resolved challenges and future-proofed transactions
We understood that Gayatri Bank required a fintech partner to enable AEPS implementation and manage UIDAI authentication across their branches and business correspondent network in India. This was a strategic, futuristic move for Gayatri Bank to drive inclusion, electronify retail payments, achieve interoperability, reach more customers, and cut costs.
We powered the AePS switch and helped customers use their Aadhaar number and fingerprint as an identity to perform the following transactions via business correspondents.
- Cash deposits
- Cash withdrawals
- Intrabank or interbank fund transfers
- Balance enquiries
- Mini statement printing
We securely routed Aadhaar-initiated interbank transactions via central switching and clearing agency and enabled disbursements of Government entitlements under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), social security pensions, and handicapped old age pension schemes.
Gayatri Bank was able to cut costs by engaging with business correspondent agents to facilitate Aadhaar-enabled transactions instead of investing in new branches, ATMs, cheque book, and cards. These agents increase the penetration of financial services, as anyone is able to visit them to get transactions done with just an Aadhaar number and biometric identification.
In a nutshell, we built a solid foundation for Gayatri Bank to run a full-fledged Aadhaar Enabled Banking Service across India.
On the very first day of AePS going live, over 500 business correspondents were onboarded from remote locations. Gayatri Bank experienced a significant boost in revenue and transaction volumes, as they were able to service more customers with greater convenience without incurring the costs of opening bank branches or ATM machines.
Gayatri Bank was able to deliver the following benefits to customers.
- Facilitated secure transactions using UIDAI biometric authentication
- Delivered 6X improvement in transaction efficiency
- Cut down execution time by 1/5th of the usual timing
- Financially empowered senior citizens and the differently abled
- Eliminated the need to carry smartphones or cards
- Abolished the need to remember passcodes, PINs, or CVV numbers
- Enabled secure transactions at remote locations without bank branches or ATMs
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