With more than 4.5 lakh customers, total business size of Rs 2,050 crore and 31 branches across UP, MP, and Delhi, Shivalik Bank is a Small Finance Bank that started operations as an urban cooperative bank in 1998.
According to Ankit Khare, VP-IT, Shivalik Bank, the company continues to invest in technology to simplify and digitize customer journeys and offer best-in-class experience to its customers.
The bank offers services through multiple digital channels including internet banking and mobile banking app, micro-ATM (Tab banking), SMS banking and also via the bank portal.
Digital penetration of the bank’s customer base stands at over 65%, with almost 94.5% new savings account openings happening via digital means. Transactions through digital channels account for more than 80% of the total transaction count.
“We have two clear guiding principles. Firstly, our focus remains on minimizing the need for a customer to walk into our branch for his/her banking requirements. Secondly, the digital experience they get must be simple, easy to use and effective”, said Khare.
Talking about ensuring a superior customer experience, Khare said that the bank’s UI/UX strategy for digital banking apps focuses on offering the relevant functionalities in the simplest form and with minimal clicks, making it easier for the customers to transact.
“The apps need to be stable, respond quickly and remain bug-free. There is also an efficient feedback mechanism that we have worked out through our ground-level /customer-facing teams that helps us understand the customer challenges and needs so that we are able to tweak our digital banking apps to suit them better”, said Khare.
Banking on Cloud
Shivalik Bank has been reaping benefits of cloud deployments for a long time since it adopted cloud hosting back in 2013.
The company’s CBS and other financial/non-financial applications like LOS, AML, Compliance and Audit tools etc. are currently hosted on cloud. The bank is live on Infosys Finacle Core Banking Solution.
“The reduced cost of ownership, ease of scaling-up or down, exhaustive information/cyber security controls and the uptime assurances help us to remain focused on the business without being worried about the infrastructure,” averred Khare.
According to Khare, some challenges prior to using cloud included: high cost of ownership – upfront investment and operational expenses; tightly coupled hardware components, making upscaling or downscaling difficult and expensive; information/cyber-security overheads and complex and inefficient integrations.
“Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offered a high-performant, cost-effective solution, where we can use industry-leading Oracle products – API Gateway, Integration Engine, Database – to name a few. The concept of IaaS and PaaS universal cloud credits makes it simpler for us to use any of Oracle’s cloud offerings, beyond what we have subscribed to upfront. The ease of switching between subscription/billing models without the need for a redeployment has been very helpful”, he added.
Shivalik Bank was able to roll-out phase-1 of its API Gateway and Integration engine (via Oracle Integration Cloud service) within a short span of 3 months.
The banking firm also managed to save substantially on costs owing to the ease of switching between OCI’s various subscription models. “In the longer run, by using OCI, we expect a reduction of 25-30% in terms total cost of ownership (TCO) and 10-15% improved efficiency owing to superior application performance and faster turnaround times”,
Khare believes cloud would continue to remain the bank’s first choice for any upcoming deployments as well.
The bank’s immediate priority is to deliver an API developer portal using OCI and the API Gateway to ensure a seamless integration journey for the fintech companies and neo-banks.
“We are looking to continue strengthening our integration capabilities, and start using other Oracle Cloud offerings specifically in the areas of Data Analytics, Identity and Access Management and Business Process Modelling. We are also evaluating moving our existing on-premises applications as well as other applications running on other clouds to OCI for better price-performance-security benefits”, Khare maintained.