The Man & the Machine

Vikas Narula, VP - IT, AU Small Finance Bank AU Small Finance Bank is a Jaipur-headquartered commercial bank offering a wide range of Financial Services that include Car Loan, Commercial Vehicle Loan, MSME Loan, Construction Finance, SME Loan, Secured Business Loan, Agri Business Loans, and many others.

From time immemorial, it has been the human endeavor to invent machines which are smarter than him. In today’s times, this seems increasingly achievable with the help of artificial intelligence(AI). Today, in the race to make driverless cars or self-driven cars, artificial intelligence plays a significant role. Companies like Google, Tesla, and Apple are investing a huge amount of money and manpower in AI. This combination of robotics and artificial intelligence is penetrating every aspect of human life. On pilot basis, humanoids are working like humans in banks, driving the cars, cooking food, treating human bodies, and making things.

There is no doubt about how technology has helped humanity to reach beyond its perceivable limits – starting from stone age and slowly percolating to astronomy, medical, transportation, communication – name the field it, is every where. Wearable gadgets can keep an entire health record and assist humans when required, like in emergency calling and sharing important information about the health.

After the advent of Computer and Internet till present in the era of Internet of Things (IoT), things have come closer to people. A company can keep an eye on every product of its production. Data analysis can provide lot more opportunities to work upon.

Talking about the financial sector, banks have become the focal point of every financial need – no matter where you work, no matter what you earn, no matter how you manage your funds, no matter where you spend. A bank can support you with the help of technology. This is not only saving the cost of providing service, but also the time involved and the complexity of operations. It has broken the barrier of geographical limitation by providing us with a lot more options and customizing the offering tailor-made for requirements on hand. When we talk about the early age of banking system, it was a continuation of ideas & concepts of credit and lending. Now, it has become a system of connecting the entire
world on a single common financial system. No matter what currency you want to pay with, the technological intervention is there to do the job with a few clicks. We can see the banks are reducing their physical outlets and are coming to the digital platform to reduce the costs of services. They are increasing their services area. Nowadays, they are not only selling mutual fund and insurance, but also every marketable thing. They might start advertising as a fee based incomes a new idea of earning in future. With the help of technology, every activity of a person can be tracked, as we know companies can track their product till the end of its life. Humans are being tracked for their needs and activities. Government is tracking their deposits, purchases and other financial activities for governance purpose, maybe at some level, social contacts also with the help of technology.

If one is able to foresee and intelligently gauge the possible impact of technology on humans, it will turn out to be the biggest enabler of societal development in future

Biometric verification and two factor authentications using Aadhar details are reducing the dependency on documentation and other time-consuming processes. Technology is playing a great role in collection of feedback & response to improve the quality of services. Now, product delivery across platforms is available round the clock. Call centers are supporting their customers. Distributed environment provides the up and running services in any harsh & adverse condition. Cloud computing and shared resources are the true cost savers, and easy to adopt technologies are available for even the smallest player.

So far, people were only using Government issued currency notes for trading, but the new technology crypt ocurrency as ‘Bitcoin’ is making its space in market. It is all new face of currency which is purely digital, an electronic form of cash. It is so far not legalized, but still in transaction and being traded & is acceptable in many countries.

Technology is not only helping humanity in improving the value of life, but also making it easier for us to innovate bringing to the fore still newer technologies and discover new ways of improvement. Technology also has a dark side. Many people are being addictive of technology and use it so excessively, which lead to physical/health problems like obesity and social problems. Using technology platforms like hacking, phishing, spamming, and fraudulent e-mail, people are being cheated. Using cyber space, banks lose millions of dollars by cybercrime.

Privacy in human life is becoming a big challenge. Even the elections are also being impacted using technology. Social media like Facebook is accepting the data leakage and is being used illegally. Data security is becoming a big challenge as technology grows. Every day, new vulnerabilities are being exposed and exploited.

No matter how big challenges are, ‘technology means transformation’ and it is being done by humans. It will always be helpful to the humanity. To conclude I would like to address the banking industry where technology is being in a smart and people friendly way, using multiple platforms & partners to enhance the experience and cater to the need of their customers. The banking industry needs to be very cautious about the new developments and proactively defensive towards the upcoming new threats. If one is able to foresee and intelligently gauge the possible impact of technology on humans, it will turn out to be the biggest enabler of societal development in future.