The pandemic devastated well being and economies worldwide nevertheless it additionally superior enterprises’ digital transformation plans by a few years. The impression on small companies was notably acute. RAKBANK has leveraged the Finacle platform to come back to assistance from its prospects by not solely easing the phrases of their loans but additionally by serving to them undertake digital applied sciences of their respective companies.
We spoke to Sanjay Khanna, Chief Data Officer at RAKBANK to be taught extra about its initiatives, proper from digitally onboarding small enterprise prospects to serving to them undertake technological instruments to providing them companies on its SMEsouk platform. RAKBANK additionally talked about its personal digitisation journey and the significance of expertise companions in addition to a wider fintech ecosystem.
What have been the notable shifts in expectations of the SME buyer phase from their financial institution through the pandemic? In the event you had been to mirror on your enterprise methods, how has RAKBANK been in a position to assist its SME purchasers higher navigate their challenges?
The pandemic straight impacted SMEs within the UAE in a damaging manner. This resulted in a shift in SME buyer necessities and expectations from their banks. The preliminary necessities revolved round deferring loans and waiving any fees to principally handle the sudden impression the pandemic had on their enterprise money flows. Nonetheless, with passing time SME prospects realised that enterprise wanted to be carried out remotely and therefore influenced the demand for the improved digitisation of their companies.
We launched a number of options corresponding to SME digital onboarding that gives our SME prospects the power to use for a checking account on-line…
– Sanjay Khanna, Chief Data Officer at RAKBANK
All through this well being disaster we’ve been working with our SME prospects at each stage of their enterprise life cycle and serving to them to beat the impression of the pandemic. The financial institution supplied mortgage and credit-card deferrals to its prospects and helped them restructure their mortgage funds – this was achieved with the assist of the nation’s regulators.
In gentle of the sudden digitisation necessities of all our prospects, RAKBANK centered on altering its method to assist prospects from navigating a disaster response to a longer-term, post-Covid-19 outlook. We launched a number of options corresponding to SME digital onboarding that gives our SME prospects the power to use for a checking account on-line, and enabled WFH (make money working from home) for our again workplace workers to course of the purposes through the pandemic.
What are your reflections on how your tech stack and enterprise methods have helped RAKBANK navigate by way of the pandemic with minimal impression on enterprise development? How crucial are they within the realm of SME banking in particular? What has been the expertise of the RAKBANK’s personal Covid-19 journey?
It’s evident that the pandemic has impacted everybody globally, however on the constructive aspect, the pandemic has additionally supplied a chance for organisations to reinforce customer support by way of the adoption of latest and higher digital applied sciences. We had began the implementation of latest digital expertise options earlier than the pandemic hit and it has helped us tremendously, particularly when managing the post-pandemic state of affairs effectively and successfully.
The clear development although was the pandemic’s impression on the small enterprise phase. We knew as a nationwide financial institution that we needed to step up. In fact, that doesn’t solely imply offering monetary assist nevertheless it additionally revolves round digital options and companies. The financial institution is taken into account the main SME financial institution within the nation, and it’s because SME wants, and necessities are positioned on the core of our technique. Our goal is to play an integral position in helping SMEs throughout this well being disaster by offering the proper options and knowledge digitally, which helps them run their operations effectively and sustainably. At RAKBANK, we consider in supporting SMEs and companies which might be out there on our SMEsouk platform additional reinforce our targets of constantly providing a variety of companies and options that assist small companies attain their full potential, particularly throughout troublesome occasions.
Earlier than the pandemic, the financial institution arrange a distant working infrastructure as a part of our outsourcing technique, and this train assisted within the financial institution’s on the spot implementation of the make money working from home (WFH) resolution for our workers. There have been little to no delays and impression on the work stream and operations of the financial institution. We took this as a chance to reinforce our digital basis by way of our WFH functionality that led to the event of a brand new and enhanced customer support journey.
What do you see because the altering developments and largest challenges within the SME banking area? What are your plans to win a bigger share of SME and company banking prospects in 2022 and past?
The most recent development appears to be round digital transformation of the small and medium enterprises. The challenges are credit score threat, expertise adoption, buyer engagement and competitors. We plan to assist prospects at numerous phases of their enterprise life cycle and assist them within the adoption of the required technological instruments, digitisation of the lending course of and share deeper insights to assist them with data-based choices. We’re additionally automating our credit score determination processes to quick monitor and scale back the backend processing time.
What do you see because the position of expertise companions and fintechs in enabling you to drive your expertise priorities within the SME and company banking area over the close to to medium time period? What are RAKBANK’s plans close to cloud expertise?
Expertise companions and fintechs are a necessary a part of our expertise ecosystem. We consider in leveraging expertise from our expertise companions and collaborating with fintechs to supply best-in-class and revolutionary options to our prospects. In step with this imaginative and prescient, we partnered with a fintech firm referred to as Versify Tech Options to supply accounting options to our SME prospects. Accountable is a straightforward digital accounting platform that takes care of an SME’s accounting and taxation necessities. It provides customers entry to their enterprise operations, accounting and taxation options in a single and easy-to-use cloud platform, which is intently built-in with prospects’ RAKBANK enterprise account.
We consider cloud computing is a elementary infrastructure within the digital space and we’re dedicated to additional rising our investments within the cloud computing area. We had began our cloud adoption journey round 5 years in the past and now we’ve a number of enterprise purposes deployed on clouds – this consists of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS deployments. The financial institution is working in direction of a multi-public cloud adoption technique with a give attention to cloud governance, information safety and information residency compliance, steady enchancment and monitoring.
Being a progressive financial institution within the coronary heart of the Center East, the place banks have formidable transformation agendas, how do you see RAKBANK’s digital transformation journey evolving over the following two years? What particular transformations do you envisage within the SME and company banking area?
The digital world is transferring quick, and prospects have gotten extra conscious and demanding with regard to technological options. We, at RAKBANK, recognise the significance of digital transformation and we’ve a longtime digital technique in place. All our private and enterprise banking companies are provided by way of digital channels whereby tasks are centered on digital transformations which might be aligned with our digital technique. We plan to leverage cloud, open API, information and analytics to form up our digital technique in the end, as a result of a cloud is the important thing for agility and innovation. It accelerates the method of digital supply and reduces the time wanted to enter the market. We additionally acknowledge that the information acts as an asset as an alternative of a commodity. At present, data-based choices play a key position in our enterprise technique planning.
Among the many pioneer banks in digital transformation within the area, RAKBANK selected Infosys Finacle to determine its digital foundations and drive a world-class buyer expertise. The financial institution has adopted the Finacle Core Banking Platform for each retail and company traces of enterprise, Finacle Liquidity Administration and Wealth Administration platforms, Finacle Digital Engagement Suite – On-line Banking, Cell Banking and Digital Engagement Hub, as a part of its modernisation journey.
For extra data, go to Infosys Finacle
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