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How sales automation will positively transform the Indian retail banking sector in 2023


How many times did you visit your bank branch last year? How many of those were to withdraw cash from the adjacent ATM? Five years ago, the answers to these questions were very different from what you would find today.

There is no refuting that a few years ago, accessing retail banking services was a tedious exercise for customers, both physically and mentally. And while the atrophy in digital innovation was slowly improving, there was still a long way to go. 

But in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the paradigm and put customer experience at the center of everything. The race for new market share was skewed in favour of those who could acquire customers remotely while quickly adapting to their increasingly changing preferences. 

Even in 2022, we saw the same trend continuing. Customers want everything to be just a few taps on the phone away. 

Retail banks have shown tremendous resilience while catching up to the changing customer demands. From developing new zero-touch loan products and door-step services to enabling digital self-service applications, mobile banking, and much more. 

So, what’s next for retail banking in India? The goal for 2023 is to improve the efficiency of their current processes and sell more products per customer. 

Retail banks will rely on automation to reduce repetitive actions, introduce modularity into their processes, and derive in-depth analytics.

So, let’s look at how automation – specifically sales automation will help banking leaders complete these milestones in 2023.

What is Retail Banking?

Before we discuss sales automation in retail banking, let’s quickly understand the term once. 

Retail banking, often synonymous with personal or consumer banking, can be defined as financial services provided to individuals rather than enterprises. 

To thrive in the post-Covid economy, banks actively embraced digitization to deliver efficiency and convenience through customer-centric digital banking services. 

As a result, customers can withdraw, deposit, manage their finances, obtain credit, and make investments, from anywhere in the country.

The Growing Prevalence of Automation in Retail Banking

The Reserve Bank of India released its vision statement for India’s payments and settlement systems in June 2022. The document titled “Payments Vision 2025” focuses on improving the state of digital payments in India. Government reforms such as EASE 5.0 also encourage personalized and seamless retail banking support for consumers. 

So, in light of that, here are a few ways in which retail banks can achieve personalization and customer centricity through new-age automation: 

New and better customer experiences

A few years ago, banking processes were slow and had a lot of paperwork. Nowadays, these two things are enough to drive away most tech-savvy consumers (Gen Z and Millennials constitute up to 85% of the demographic using digital transactions). According to one research by PwC, 32% of customers will discontinue using a brand (they are loyal to) after one unpleasant experience. 

Shorter onboarding timelines and paperless journeys are critical to excellent customer experience and must be prioritized.

It is also important to note that human interactions can significantly increase the chances of successful conversion. The technology, also known as Conversational Service Automation (CSA), can assist banks in meeting client demands with empathy and understanding and constantly offering a high-quality service.

In 2023, we can expect more intelligent CSAs integrated into self-serve application portals and mobile banking apps.

Increased customer engagement through automation

New-age Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions can help marketing teams execute highly relevant campaigns that engage prospective leads and bring them back into the sales funnel.

For example, a potential customer starts their journey for a credit card but does not complete the application process. In that case, the system might automatically give him offers and benefits related to other credit cards via email, text messaging, retargeting campaigns, and transactional messages via WhatsApp.

Effortless processing with workflow automation

Workflow automation improves operational efficiency by reducing the limitations of manual processing and allowing for greater coordination across various banking operations. 

Automation workflows greatly benefit banks because they can visualize and shape complex banking processes. Additionally, banking leaders can alter these workflows effortlessly and view results in real time. Distributing incoming inquiries using workflow automation can reduce turnaround times by up to 75%.


In 2023, several banking processes, such as account opening, accounts payable, closing, loans, and credit card processing, may be efficiently automated to provide a consistent client experience. 

Enhanced reporting/Analytics and improved ROI

Traditionally, agents manually collated data for their operations – data that was often prone to errors and was tedious to gather. As a result, senior leaders would have a deferred understanding of the landscape. Consequently, the feedback for reps and targets would change for the business would be decided, thus deviating away from the real situation on the ground. 

Today, however, managers can directly set up dashboards/smart views that can help them analyze the performance of their teams/products/regions, etc., in real time and set up incentives to promote this growth. This is game-changing for an institution that must manage hundreds of crores in currency every day.

Another key area where automation can significantly boost sales is the cross/up-selling of new products/services. Some Indian retail banks source up to 80% of their retail assets by cross-selling to existing customers.

Many new-age sales automation platforms can help track customer lifecycle and gauge customer engagements through various attributes to score them. The engaged customers bucketed and marketed new products relevant to them, thus increasing customer lifetime value.

Outlook for the Upcoming Year

According to a 2022 study conducted by PWC in partnership with FICCI, India’s banking industry is at the forefront of integrating and embracing all major AI use cases. Many banks use automation today to comprehend and act on end-to-end client dialogues, from self-service platforms like mobile, online, and chatbots to live agent contacts. 

In 2023, banks must leverage new-age CRM systems to assist in digitizing client acquisition, onboarding, sales, collections, and upsell/cross-sell activities, enabling a smooth, interconnected operational structure. 

To obtain the best outcomes, they must ensure that the CRM system they select is low-code, mobile-friendly, scalable, and flexible, as well as easy to integrate and use across several channels.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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