YES Bank has launched YES mPower, a banking chatbot for its loan products – making it the only bank in India to offer this feature.

Looking at the unsecured lending market in the country, Verdict Financial’s Global Retail Banking Analytics reveals that 2016 will see continued growth in India’s loans balances. According to Verdict Financial’s forecasts, India’s loan book is expected to record a CAGR of 8% from 2013 to 2016, and providers like YES Bank are looking to optimize this opportunity.

At present, lender choice in India is largely driven by pricing, ease of access, and innovation. With YES mPower, the bank is aiming to help its customers easily obtain information about its loan products and receive instant notifications on loan eligibility. Verdict Financial’s 2016 Retail Banking Insight Survey reveals the drivers of provider choice that are most important to Indian consumers, and the chart below provides an indication of the top five factors considered by consumers before choosing a provider.

According to our data, the preference for an innovative provider is the third most influential factor, with on average two thirds of borrowers opting for such providers. This highlights a desire to bank through new technology among both younger and older family segments, meaning lenders in India need to focus on continuous improvement of their loan products. In our view, YES Bank’s introduction of a chatbot is a strategic step to address the gaps in the sector and to catalyze disruptive innovation.