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Govind Setlur, Chief Executive Officer, Wibmo
Govind Setlur, Chief Executive Officer, Wibmo

‘Covid-19 will speed up the delivery of smart solutions to meet market needs’

  • This will fundamentally change consumer behaviour towards remote and digital interaction, as they can see the benefits

Ever since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed video-based customer identification (V-CIP) for KYC authentication earlier this year, financial institutions have been working towards adopting the new technology. Govind Setlur, chief executive officer, Wibmo—which has launched a V-CIP solution for banks— talks about what the process entails, innovations waiting in the wings and what the company’s acquisition by PayU in April 2019 means for both entities. Edited excerpts:

Is Wibmo’s acquisition by PayU part of its larger objective to build an integrated digital-led financial services ecosystem?

With PayU acquiring Wibmo, we are able to bring unique strengths and synergistic solutions to the digital payment ecosystem. The focus has always been to drive innovation in digital payments and meet the rapidly changing needs. Now working together, the ability to deliver market solutions is only greater.

Wibmo has launched a video KYC process for banks. How does it work?

The video KYC process serves as a one-on-one digital interaction platform between banks and customers. With RBI publishing a directive on what constitutes a valid KYC process, the solution is built to conform to this directive. This requires the customer to submit documents like Aadhaar or PAN card for verification, have a short video call with the bank’s agent and answer a few questions. The customer has to visit the bank’s website and initiate the KYC process for account opening. The bank’s representative will facilitate the ID verification and video authentication.

Will it reduce costs for banks? If yes, then will this benefit customers?

Both banks and customers will benefit by establishing a digital identity, but we have to find a way to do it at a significantly lower cost as well as efficiently and reliably. The video KYC verification is building on its track record of real-time transactional identity verification. We believe that this will open up banking services to a much larger population, as costs and friction in opening bank accounts can be reduced.

In today’s world where economies of speed are important, customers prefer convenient, fast and secure options for banking. Video KYC will reduce both cost and time. Video KYC is built for high scalability and availability as well as low bandwidth functionality. As more consumers feel comfortable with online channels, banks are sure to invest in bringing more online services to customers, and focus on remote enablement.

What kind of security breaches or frauds are possible when conducting video KYC?

The KYC process is intended to verify identity with proven documentation. However, the consumer needs to be cautious no matter what. They need to ensure KYC is being conducted by their bank and not a phishing site, the connection is secure, and not share any sensitive information other than the required documents needed for verification. We are cognizant of the fact that bank transactions require a high level of security and transparency, and Wibmo Video KYC offers exactly this. Video interaction is encrypted end-to-end to protect customer privacy and data.

Most often, it is somewhat challenging to decipher a consumer’s video interaction based on the bandwidth that they have. By cleaning up the consumer’s still photo taken during the video session, and by using AI-based face match techniques to match the consumer’s photo with their government ID, we can determine if the two photos match assigning a level of confidence.

What other AI-driven solutions are expected to emerge in the banking and payments sectors?

AI-driven solutions can bring better services for consumers as well as protect them from fraud. By learning consumer behaviour and trends, banks can predict their needs and design banking solutions based on that. A simple example could be anticipating credit requirements based on a customer’s spend patterns.

Fraud prevention is one of the key areas where the industry is making great strides. By studying purchase behaviour and using data models, AI and machine learning-driven solutions can detect and, hence, prevent fraud accurately.

How will the covid-19 crisis and its aftermath affect the industry?

Covid-19 has stressed the need for digital and contactless payments. While pre-covid was more about convenience, now online shopping has become a necessity. This will fundamentally change consumer behaviour towards remote and digital interaction, as they can clearly see the benefit and convenience. In addition, technology companies and other service providers will speed up the delivery of innovative solutions to meet market needs.

Covid-19’s impact on the basic financial and payment transaction needs of everyday consumers has been severe. As a large number of customers are having to make online payments, open bank accounts, and obtain loans online, it has created the potential for increase in fraud. Frauds such as phishing, vishing and use of fraudulent SMS content are the ones to watch out for.

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