India’s banking sector has always been at the forefront of driving digitisation and adopting Artificial Intelligence. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the process with both the industry and the Government pushing for further digitisation in the BFSI sector. As per news reports, in the upcoming Budget, the government is likely to scale up its flagship financial inclusion schemes while focusing on digitisation. This would include setting up more digital banking units (DBUs) and bringing about a digital interface for greater integration between Jan Dhan accounts, Jeevan Jyoti and Suraksha Bima Yojana.


It is with this background that the Bombay Chamber, under the aegis of the BFSI Committee, organised its Conclave on the highly relevant topic, ‘Digitisation in the Indian Banking Sector.’ The Conclave, which was held in a hybrid mode, saw knowledge-driven sessions featuring expert minds discussing the topic and the way forward.


Welcoming the audience, Mr Nilesh Shah, President, Bombay Chamber & Group President & MD, Kotak Mahindra AMC, spoke about Bombay Chamber’s role in developing trade and commerce in Mumbai and the country and how technology and digitisation will fuel our next trillion-dollar economy. Emphasising that capturing this digitisation in the BFSI industry is highly critical, Mr Shah cautioned that companies that evolve and adopt technology will benefit from it, while those that fail, face the threat of extinction.


Laying the grounds of the discussion, the Chief Guest of the event, Shri Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India, spoke about the evolution of digitisation in the Indian banking sector, the enactment of the Information Technology Act, which provided impetus towards electronic transaction and e-commerce and served as a platform for further digitisation, the introduction of further conduits of the digitisation drive of the banking sector, and how Covid-19 drove faster adoption of technology. However, with the digitisation process comes risks that may affect public trust in the financial system. Shri Chaudhary advised banks to upgrade their core systems, focus on customer relationships, and address the risks and concerns that come with the digitisation of finance while ensuring that innovations are responsible and meet the principles of governance and customer- centricity.


The first panel discussion, moderated by Mr Rajiv Anand, Deputy Managing Director, Axis Bank had Mr Anand Mihir, Partner, Risk Consulting, EY India, Mr Sajish Pillai, Managing Director & Head – Assets and Strategic Alliances, Consumer Banking Group, DBS Bank, India and Mr Arpit Ratan, CBO & Co-Founder, SignZy deliberating on the topic of Ecosystem Banking and Neo-banking in the Transformative Stage.


The panel discussion was followed by an interesting presentation on neobanking by Mr Pratik Shah, Partner and Leader, Financial Service Consulting, EY India, who spoke about how the next generation will drive digitisation trends in the banking sector and how banks will need to cash in on this market.

The second panel discussion focused on the pertinent topic of Digitisation in Rural India and of taking technology to the farmers. The panel was moderated by Mr Harshvardhan Bisht, Partner, Financial Service Consulting, EY India, and had Mr Ashok Dhamankar, Chief Financial Officer – Financial Services, UPL, Mr Prateep Basu, CEO, SatSure and Mr Sridhar Easwaran, Founding Member, Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services, who joined in virtually, as the speakers.


With digitisation becoming ever-pervasive in the BFSI sector, cybersecurity takes on paramount importance. The final panel discussion of the Conclave saw Moderator, Mr Dilip Panjwani, Global Head – Cybersecurity Practice & CoE, LTIMindtree, along with our panelists Mr Anu Tiwari, Partner, (Cohead) Fintech, Mr Kartik Shinde, Partner, Cyber Security and Data Privacy, EY India, and Mr Rajesh Thapar, CISO, Axis Bank, discuss the topic of Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence.


Delivering his Vote of Thanks, Mr. Abizer Diwanji, Head Financial Services, EY, gave a round-up of the event and spoke about how today, data is the new oil, which is gushing out and how it is the duty of the security industry and banking to control the data so that there is a more reformed banking system.

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