AU Small Finance Bank ropes in Axis Bank exec as digital head
AU Small Finance Bank has appointed Axis Bank executive Dayakaran Sridhar as the chief of digital banking and digital strategy, a company statement said.
Sridhar, with 21 years of experience in banking, financial services and insurance, has led digital businesses in institutions like Axis Bank, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Kotak Securities and Citibank.
Previously senior vice-president at Axis Bank, Sridhar headed digital acquisition and customer engagement across 25 products on mobile, ATM (automated teller machine), internet banking, social media, and more. He spent eight years five months at Axis Bank.
Sridhar, a chartered accountant, holds an MBA degree from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research.
On his new role, Sridhar said, “I think small finance banks are much better equipped to adopt and leverage digital innovations and offer customers the most hassle-free banking experience, thereby furthering financial inclusion.”
According to the company statement, his appointment marks AU Bank’s ambition of becoming a holistic digital bank in line with the central government’s agenda to accelerate financial inclusion through the use of technology.
Small finance banks undertake basic banking activities such as acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and underserved sections including small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities. Small finance banks can't make large loans, float subsidiaries or deal in sophisticated products.
AU Bank, in the statement, said that it’s planning to penetrate deeper into Tier-II and Tier-III towns by launching new services like UPI and USSD (Unified Payments Interface and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), allowing large populations to transact freely. UPI, a state-backed open platform, allows people to send money to each other and directly into bank accounts by linking mobile numbers. USSD allows users without a smartphone or data/internet connection to use mobile banking through the *99# code.
AU Bank is also looking forward to introduce new products and services such as digital lending, digital payments, digital liabilities and digital wealth management to engage with customers on digital platforms.