A digital strategy that's all about processes, people, and partnerships.
As India’s demographics shift to a younger working age group and the digital economy continues its growth trajectory, customer experience has become the new battleground for financial institutions. Interestingly, only 5% of financial transactions in India take place on a digital platform. At YES BANK, we recognized that providing banking services alone wouldn’t set us apart from the seasoned, established players. As a result, our focus is to provide superior customer experience, including ‘anytime-anywhere’ and ‘no-hassle’ access to all types of banking services.
Our overarching strategy involves a well-defined approach to digital transformation, one that involves every single aspect of banking—opening accounts, availing loans, receiving remittances, and more.
Complexities and challenges of deployment in enterprise systems
We are presently moving workloads from our current data center to a new location. this involves lifting and shifting 200+ applications and the entire application infrastructure stack. In addition to promoting change requests, new development in an application across various stages of development—like Dev to SIT to UAT—is disjointed and requires a lot of manual intervention, thereby impacting productivity and efficiency. Some of the pain points include the following:
- Technology silos requiring a lot of manual intervention, leading to several man-hours wasted and delayed releases.
- No monitoring and control over the entire application deployment cycle.
- No prioritization of deployment requests.
- Gaps in the deployment of applications across various environments leading to inconsistencies.
- No clear visibility of deployment status.
We realized that migration from physical infrastructure deployment to an Infrastructure as Code (IaC) strategy was the only way forward. IaC allows us to rapidly deploy the infrastructure stack across varied application environments in a consistent manner, bringing in efficiency throughout the process.
We have worked with IBM as our technology partner for multiple reasons. IBM is a trusted partner and a valuable advisor and it had existing solutions and the desired technology landscape—IBM UrbanCode® Deploy, IBM API Connect®, IBM App Connect, and the IBM MobileFirst Platform, among others. With IBM, we got the agility of cloud computing without worrying about security challenges.
Improving deployment efficiency as much as 67% with IBM UrbanCode
We had already used IBM UrbanCode Deploy with 90+ applications onboarded. Taking this further, IBM proposed using the Blueprint Designer (BPD) feature of UrbanCode Deploy to orchestrate and automate the entire application infrastructure provisioning, right from creating VMs with the required OS (integration with VMware), assigning IP address, and installing and provisioning of database, middleware, and application with required security hardening. This provisioning of services and transformation is special not only for us at YES BANK, but also for our partners, as it demonstrates the first-ever provisioning in Indian banking that involves automated deployment. It has slashed provisioning time by months.
Additionally, UrbanCode Deploy helped improve outcomes throughout, narrowing gaps in knowledge transfer and bringing greater control over the environment. Benefits include the following:
- Average monthly time for deployments slashed from 525 hours to 175 hours.
- Deployment efficiency improved by as much as 67%.
- Application launch frequency as high as 700 applications a month.
- Streamlined and process-controlled automated environment.
- Significant reduction in deployment defects reducing go-to-market time.
- 82% improvement in efficiency of deployment process across all environments.
APIs open doors to millions of potential customers
We accelerated our digital transformation using IBM API Connect to create our merchant-to-consumer ecosystem framework through an intuitive, transparent, and secure platform. Confident of our backend infrastructure, we commenced another strategic digital initiative targeted at inward remittances.
An Economic Times report pegs the total amount of remittances from Indians abroad at USD $79 billion. To simplify the entire process for remittances, we needed to integrate services with exchange houses and money services businesses that are the typical touch points at either end of the remittances. We introduced API banking, removing layers of complexities, and enabled real-time banking through Automated Payment Network.
Revolutionary changes have been made possible through API Banking. We gave India its first-ever instant 24/7 refund option in e-commerce, we integrated remittances with the NEFT network, and teamed up with an NBFC to disburse gold loans to customers who did not possess bank accounts.
We created a YES BANK mobile interface so customers can enjoy an easy, personalized digital banking experience through the bank’s platform, even when they otherwise would have had no reason to be associated with us. This has been made possible because of our partnership with a fintech company whose product rides on our APIs and allows us to issue virtual pre-paid debit cards that can be accessed by customers on their mobile phones. Before, it took us a few days to process account opening and loan disbursals, while now it just takes us minutes due to the digital transformation.
Ready for the future, today
YES BANK will continue enhancing our digital footprint to provide customers with an even better experience. For instance, we expect the volume of traffic to grow exponentially, warranting containerization for greater agility. Similarly, we would like to bring push notifications and roll out more feature functionalities.
The great thing about partnering with IBM is its ability to offer future-proof solutions. While we initially focused on establishing an API-led banking system—we are the first bank in India to do so—and modernizing our backend processes, we know our digital transformation journey is only just beginning. And as we step into the next phase, we’re looking at channeling our focus on CRM, Big Data Analytics, and mobile initiatives to create a truly customer-intuitive journey.