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The Future Is Paperless, Says Indian Financial Sector At Bankbazaar's Conclave

Thanks to regulatory encouragements, paperless technology is perfectly placed to provide that kind of frictionless experience for every financial product

India is ready for the paperless revolution and is seeing a surge in demand for a perfectly frictionless experience while buying financial products, said Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.

He was speaking at the second edition of the BankBazaar Paperless Finance Conclave held at Mumbai on 12 September.

Shetty said, "Thanks to regulatory encouragements, paperless technology is perfectly placed to provide that kind of frictionless experience for every financial product. There has been a lot of support from all quarters in calling for removing barriers to paperless services, and the question today is how do we make that happen."

The keynote speaker at the BankBazaar Digital Finance Conclave, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, emphasized the need for accelerating reforms and on the need to push for wider acceptance of digital signatures in the industry and acceptance of OTP-based eKYC.

"To my mind the proposal to push OTP-based eKYC is high (priority). For deposit accounts, the present limit is Rs 1 lakh. I think we should increase it to about Rs 10 lakh. For loan accounts, the existing limit is Rs 60,000. My view is that it should be raised to Rs 6 lakh," Kant said.

During the discussion that followed Kant's address, several points of easing the paperless journey, especially in light of how it can help reduce NPAs, were made. Zarin Daruwala, the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, suggested that GST records should be available with the consent of loan applicants for better analysis of the financial track-record.

The evening also featured two panel discussions on how paperless finance is a game changer for the financial industry and what are the constraints that need to be resolved to make completely paperless on-boarding a reality.

The first panel 'Access to paperless finance as a game changer for citizens and industry' saw panelists discussing how customers have evolved and how paperless finance has contributed to making the process more secure and foolproof.

Vijay Jasuja, MD & CEO of SBI Card, said "I believe that it is a myth that meeting face-to-face, obtaining documents physical form is safer than obtaining documents direct from the source."

Manoj Adlakha, SVP & CEO, American Express, added that early activation is key to the credit card industry. "In instant issuance, you have immediate activation," Adlakha said. "Otherwise the activation rates typically in India are now 30-40%. But instant activation means 100 per cent."

The second panel, 'What will it take for paperless on-boarding to be a reality?' discussed the biggest barrier to digital mobile access to financial products-the friction in the offline process in the form of physical KYC and wet-signature collection-and how moving from paper-centric to digital processes can help remove this barrier.

Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, suggested, "Once you've on-boarded a customer, no regulator has come in the way of the experience being fully frictionless."

Shinjini Kumar, Consumer Business Manager, CITI India, said going paperless is more than just digitization. "The move from paper to Paperless is as much about liability transfer as it is about technology," she emphasized.

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