Kochi, Mar 20: As new age technologies make dramatic inroads in the functioning of banks and trigger tectonic shifts in finance and retail sectors, there are both indications and evidences that consumers are now empowered to conduct their banking needs or do the shopping in a smart way – without visiting a traditional brick and mortar bank or a shop.
The engrossing issue would be put into perspective at a panel discussion on the topic ‘Digital Future of Banking, Finance & Retail’ at the two-day #FUTURE Global Digital Summit being organised by the Kerala government at Le Meridien hotel in Kochi on March 22-23.
The six panelists for the session are: B G Srinivas, Group Managing Director & Executive Director, PCCW; Gayathri Parthasarathy, Head, Financial services - KPMG India; Gita Gopinath, Professor of International Studies & Economics, Harvard University; Shyam Srinivasan, Managing Director & CEO, Federal Bank; Rajesh Rege, MD, Red Hat India; and Rajesh Nair, Member, HPIC, Govt. of Kerala. Noted journalist and TV anchor Shereen Bhan will moderate the session.
Financial services and retail are among the industries that have experienced phenomenal disruption by digital innovation. New entrants like PayPal are disaggregating traditional banking and threatening their market share, margins and the stable customer base.
Customers have re-defined 'convenience' and want a bank that is technology-driven and part of their mobile-empowered daily life. A recent Accenture survey showed that 71 per cent of customers in USA consider their current banking relationship to be transactional rather than relationship-driven and 27 per cent would consider a totally branchless digital bank. It also points out that 35 per cent of banking revenues will be at risk by 2020 due to this disruption.
In the retail industry, consumer behaviour has shown major shifts in preferences and expectations. Convenience, speed, variety, dynamic pricing and multi-channel service are among the top requirements of Gen X shoppers. Customers now have full control over what, when, where and how they shop. Day-to-day products are set to order their own replacements, powered by IoT. Hybrid retailing solutions are likely to bring together online and in-store experiences.
In USA, for instance, automated warehouses, drone delivery and robotic customer service staff have struck deep roots in transactional matters, but its flip side is that it dislocate an industry that is the country's top employment provider. These shifts in retail business have far-reaching implications for the world's population.
The unprecedented changes raise a string of vital issues: where does the banking, finance and retail industry go from here and are large banks primed to get over institutional complacency? What are the online customer trends, challenges and opportunities for these industries? How will the impending closure of bank branches impact the industry and workers? What are the strategies for retail business to stay competitive?
The panelists will deliberate on issues like changes and disruptions in businesses in the next 5-10 years; the impact of these changes on the consumer in planning, purchasing, fulfillment and experience; and the plans and readiness of companies to address this opportunity and challenge. They will also discuss how a state like Kerala, which is India's first digital state with the highest mobile penetration of more than 30 million connections, can benefit from such opportunities and contribute to such changes.
The delegates of # FUTURE comprise senior executives of corporates, startup ventures, potential and existing entrepreneurs, trade body representatives, investors, technocrats, government officials, professionals, academicians, students and private individuals.
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