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Broadcast Messaging Between Organizations & Customers Is A Big Opportunity: Rudrajeet Desai, Founder & CEO, WorkApps.com

In an interview with BW Businessworld, Rudrajeet Desai, Founder & CEO, WorkApps.com, talks about challenges pertaining to Video KYC and more

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What are some of the challenges pertaining to Video KYC, and how do you overcome them?

KYC is still a physical process in India, either the Customer has to go to the Branch, or a Bank Agent has to come and meet the Customer. This is a huge cost for any Bank / Wallet and makes the process time taking. It can help save anywhere between Rs.250 to Rs.500 per account opened. 

While the government is aggressively focusing on Digital India and Financial Inclusion, covering rural India still remains a challenge for BFSI players. Only 7 to 8 percent of India’s population has access to formal credit, leaving a massive population that needs to be reached for Financial Inclusion. Setting up a branch in every district or village doesn’t make commercial sense either, in such a scenario video-based verification solutions will enable the industry in swift processing of banking products across remote locations of the country.

VideoKYC.com is a platform using which Banks, Payment Banks and Wallets can do Two way video calls with customers and record their interaction as a proof of In Person Verification. The largest challenge to implement Video KYC in India was to make a product that could run on very low internet bandwidths and yet could be a very simple for most customers to operate. 

Tell us a bit about your business and revenue model. What led to the founding of WorkApps? What gaps are you trying to fill in the Indian market?

Industry specific messaging solutions is the future, because how a Bank works is different than how a Retail company works. Messaging requires deep domain understanding of processes and integration with many legacy workflows. 

WorkApps is an Enterprise Messaging Platform for the BFSI Sector. As more and more things move to Digital, there are many workflows in a Banking Sector that require specialized messaging solutions, which off the shelf products cannot cater to, hence the requirement of a horizontal platform like WorkApps. 

We looked at multiple sectors and realized that there was no messaging platform dedicated for the Banking sector in India, because of which large Banking companies have to resort to multiple tools to sort their problems, WorkApps is solving that need.

Please provide details on the current scale of operations and key clients

WorkApps was founded in 2017, and since then our product has scaled to cater to many specific needs in a BFSI company. 

WorkApps helps the Banking sector in the following areas: 

  1. Secure Internal Communication, so that critical data of the bank is not floating on Public Chat platforms 

  2. Large Team Communication – An enhanced tool for Internal Team Communication specifically made for large teams

  3. Broadcast Messages – Rich media Broadcast messaging for updates to team on Product, Policies, Corp Comm etc

  4. Credit Verification – Use Video for Credit Verification and Personal Discussion in Loan underwriting processes

  5. Customer Connect – Text Messaging & Video between Customers and RMs

  6. Faster Customer response – Helping Customers connect with ‘Nearby Sales Managers’ and ‘Their Relationship Managers’

  7. Digital Onboarding – Online assistance to customers while filing forms using Text Chat and Screen Sharing 

  8. Video MER – Use Video instead of Telephone for doing MER in Life Insurance 

  9. Policy Verification on Video – Take consent from Customer over Video, without any Manual Intervention 

  10. Claim Disbursement on Video – Connect with customers over video instead of Branches for Claim Disbursement 

  11. Google Maps Integrated – GPS based customer lead allocation, digital attendance, trip calculator

  12. NRI Banking and Virtual Relationship Managers – Enhanced Customer support using Text and Video

  13. Recruitment – Tool for conducting, recording & internally sharing Video Interviews

  14. Anonymous Employee Feedback – Helping companies get honest and anonymous feedback from employees 

WorkApps has been live for the last 2 years in the market with customers like ICICI Securities, NSDL, Go Digit, Max Life, Kotak Bank, RBL Bank, Tata Capital, Vijay Sales, Netmagic, Bellfinvest. 

As a platform, we are multi cloud compatible. We can deploy our solution on AWS, Azure, SimpliCloud, or on traditional servers of a Bank. 

We are also flexible with the licensing model, a company can use our service in pure play SaaS model, monthly licensing or an Enterprise License model. 

As Financial Advice gets more and more digitized, what opportunities do you see emerging for businesses such as yours going forward?

India Inc is going to open up many opportunities in the years to come. 

  1. Virtual and Video Banking is the future. Customers prefer to not travel to branches today, and organizations are trying to increase their TAT to service customers. 

  2. Most processes like Account Opening, KYC, Credit Verification, Wealth Management, Customer Support will move to Chat and Video. This opens a big opportunity to companies like ours. 

We are building many other products in our labs, which will ride on technologies surrounding, Speech to Text, Vernacular language understanding, Facial Recognition, Voice recognition. 

Tell us about some of the work you’ve been doing with the Home & IT ministry.

Due to client confidentiality we cannot disclose much. However we would like to add that WorkApps is the only Indian Company which has a Secure Enterprise Messaging Platform, and we believe that the Government of India is keen on moving to a home grown chat. 

How do you ensure that your proposition is compliant with regulatory norms at all times?

WorkApps is an On Premise / Customer Cloud deployed solution, which means that the complete data of Customers is on the servers of the Bank.

WorkApps is also a Select Tier partner with AWS in India, which enables us to work very closely with them to bring more security to this domain. Data ownership and Privacy is the most important aspect of compliance in the Banking space, which we have taken care completely. WorkApps has invested heavily in plugging all data leakage points like: 

Access and Data Hosting

  1. Company Owned Hosting with complete data control 

  2. Option to Restrict Access to Internal Network only 

  3. Access authorized by the Admin only 

  4. Access authorized by integration with Employee Directory 

  5. Host Mobile Apps in own Developer Account 

  6. Data Encryption at Rest and In Transit 

  7. Lock User Remotely and Wipe Data 

  8. Complete data available for Audit

Mobile Apps

  1. Compatible with MDM Apps (IBM Maas 360, Airplay, AirWatch, Citrix)

  2. App does not work on Rooted Phone or Jail Broken Phones 

  3. Data Stored in Private Folder on Mobile and cannot be copied

  4. Option to Restrict all File Downloads on Mobile

  5. Option to Restrict File Download by File Type on Mobile

  6. Restrict Screenshots and Screen Recording on Mobile 

  7. Disable Copying and Forwarding of Messages to other Apps

  8. Data Deleted from Employee Phone on Exit

Internal Control 

  1. Control who can make Group Chat and Broadcast Messages 

  2. Access of Video to selective employees 

  3. Cap bandwidth used for Video

  4. File sharing restrictions 

  5. Option to delete messages controlled by Admin

Technical Compliance 

  1. OWASP 2019 Compliant 

  2. Transport Security – WSS, HTTPS, TLS 1.2

  3. Hash & Salt password storage

  4. Token based API authentication 

  5. Cookie security – HTTPS, WorkApps Domain, Server Only

  6. All tokens (User, Invitation, Public File and Folders) encrypted before sending out 

Optional Features

  1. Optional Feature of adding another password layer for access

  2. Optional Feature of Auto Data Deletion on wrong password

  3. Option to Auto Delete Data from devices after X number of days

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in that regard?

As most data is mobile today, and the market is flooded with various kinds of handsets, covering all data leakage points has been our biggest challenge today. We have to follow and work very closely with market trends to ensure our solution is updated with latest handsets, and operating system upgrades. 

Lastly, do tell us about some of your business goals and projections for the next 3 years.

We are dedicated on creating more and more use cases out of our platform for the Banking space. The next couple of years would see a lot many more features coming from our side towards that. 

Broadcast messaging between organizations and customers is a big opportunity we see that is hugely untapped, next few months we will be launching solutions around that as well.


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