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Banks are now actively working to make their operations digital. They want to reduce the reliance on physical cash and move towards a cash-lite economy. This means finding ways to automate their processes and make them available online. 

By doing so, they hope to provide customers with convenient and secure digital banking experiences.

In this B-Side episode, Kissflow’s chief executive officer, Suresh Sambandam, discusses with BusinessWorld reporter Aaron Michael C. Sy how banks can accelerate digital adoption. 


  • As in India, a cashless society in the Philippines could succeed and benefit the country if the government and regulators invest in platforms like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). “If you can build something like a nationwide infrastructure similar to UPI in India, cashless is not at all a problem. It’s going to be really powerful,” Mr. Suresh said.
  • Automating processes in the middle office is the key to ramping up digital banking. Banks need to digitally transform their processes to make employee operations more efficient, Mr. Suresh said. “Digital banking has not really happened effectively in the middle office applications. The front office applications and the back-office applications are more or less there.”
  • To address the underserved sector in rural areas, regulators could start by introducing cashless payments to get them into digital banking. “When they embark on that, automatically the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and the agricultural farmers, all of these people can go into the banking system. And that automatically enables digital commerce, digital payments, and takes us one step closer to the cashless banking initiative.”
  • Citizen development paradigm provides a platform for non-IT personnel to translate their field of expertise into working applications without the need for programming knowledge. Banks should be educated in expanding their programming knowledge outside of the IT department, Mr. Suresh said. The citizen development paradigm can also be applied to other industries aside from banking such as retail, merchandise, and even the public sector.

  • “There is a paradigm shift that is required in terms of thinking. Conventionally, the digital automation process is always handled by IT. But for a lot of simpler workflows and applications, you no longer need to depend on IT,” Mr. Suresh noted. “There is a new concept called citizen development paradigm that banks have adopted.”

  • “The place where the cashless society and the digital transformation and digital banking is lacking is in the middle,” he added. “So what the central bank needs to do is to provide the best practices and guidance for all the banks in the Philippines to be able adopt digital transformation in the middle office. If that can be done, the whole cashless society transformation will be very smooth.”

Recorded remotely on May 22, 2023.