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The banker and her iPad

Recently I was talking to the department head of a leading bank. She told me that her salespeople were using iPads.    "Great, What do they use them for?", I asked her  and she said "To login remotely to our CRM system".    

Wow, I thought, what could be a more inefficient way of  leveraging mobility.    Casting away all the inherent user friendliness made possible in their shiny new iPads and connecting to legacy enterprise app with it's cumbersome menus, listboxes etc!      Now add the cost of a terminal emulator for the Ipad and higher data charges to keep connections persistent throughout a transaction and the inefficiencies become starker.

Surely there could be better way.  We worked through a few use cases with her and in a few weeks put together an iPad app that provides client information to the sales reps, originate new product sales and even capture their daily trip log.     The last item is particularly interesting.  These sales reps spend their day travelling to client locations, and at the end of a tiring day needed to fill our expense forms and trip sheets for their sales runs.     The built in GPS in their iPads coupled with Google Maps could do this automatically.   Her sales reps loved it!

Our job was made easier as their enterprise app was web service enabled, so we could leverage off their enterprise workflows  once the iPad pushed the information to their back end systems.

There are umpteen ways to simplify banking today by leveraging mobile and tablet technologies, not just on the customer facing side like mobile banking and mobile payments but even in unsexy areas like reducing branch queues and eliminating inefficiencies hidden by 'cast in stone' organizational cultures and processes.

To borrow an example from the manufacturing industry, Toyota is a great example of a maniacal focus on removing inefficiencies and continuous improvement in their products and services.    In his book on the Toyota production system, Taiichi Ohno introduced the practice of ‘the five whys’.     

By asking the right questions and deeply understanding the root cause of particular business process,  bankers  today have the potential to transform  banking by stepping away from conventional thinking and leveraging technologies that are proven and easily implementable today.  


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Karthikeyan Venkataraman

Karthikeyan Venkataraman

Engagement Manager

Infosys Limited

Member since

24 Sep 2012



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