ECONOMYNEXT - A digital banking platform, data analytic and robotics is helping Sri Lanka's Nations Trust Bank increase productivity and expand without incurring huge infrastructure and environmental costs, the bank told shareholders.
In 2017, Nations Trust launched FriMi which allows customers to open savings accounts from their mobile phones without visiting a branch.
"We believe this is a game changer which will shape the future of banking in Sri Lanka," says Renuka Fernando, Chief Executive Officer at Nations Trust.
The bank is also piloting robotic processing in over 50 processes and using data analytics to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs.
FriMi, is an all-in-one bank account, payment system and e-wallet. Customers can send and receive money and pay utility bills. It's a virtual debit card that can pay for goods at over 600 stores.
Customers on digital platforms increased to nearly 28 percent of Nations Trust's total customer base in 2017, up from 19 percent a year earlier.
The transacted cash value on digital platforms excluding ATMs rose to 21 percent of total transaction value, up from 16 percent from a year earlier, according to NTB's 2017 annual report.
"FriMi and a trilingual mobile banking app will help the bank increase its reach while decoupling this expansion from intense environmental impacts associated with the physical infrastructure such as the increased carbon footprint from air conditioning and lighting loads from new branch openings," the bank said in its 2017 annual report.
During the year Nations Trust also launched Kaffeine Labs, an innovation centre to explore and deliver futuristic banking solutions.
A number of digital solutions were introduced for small and medium businesses including internet banking, cash management and PDC (post-dated cheque) management solutions.
Around 47% of total cash related banking transactions were on digital platforms, the bank said.The bank deployed data analytics to improve branch efficiencies. The bank has 93 branches.
"By using data analytics we were able to get deeper insights to the requirements of our customers, thereby enabling us to customize our offers and solutions in a more relevant manner," Fernando said.
"During the year the bank also enabled access to real time data on sales volumes, transactions, assets and liability movements at a segment, product and channel level.
"Branches and businesses are now able to see the achievements of their financial KPIs against budgets on a real time basis on their mobile devices, thereby enabling our staff to make decisions and pursue their objectives in a much more informed manner.
In 2018, the bank will roll out the second phase of this project to other divisions including the operational departments.
They will have access to real time data, enabling higher operational efficiencies, better management of resources and productivity, Fernando said. (COLOMBO, March 13, 2018)