scorecardBeyond banking: How Slack is reshaping financial services for the digital age
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Beyond banking: How Slack is reshaping financial services for the digital age

Beyond banking: How Slack is reshaping financial services for the digital age
Business5 min read
In the ever-evolving landscape of financial services, technology has become the cornerstone of innovation, efficiency, and customer service. Indian financial services company, Freecharge, offers over 100 million users a whole range of services, from purchasing gold and investing in mutual funds to paying utility bills and recharging their phones - all from the comfort of their digital devices. And this fast-moving company leverages Slack as its AI-powered platform for work, ensuring its team stays aligned, engaged, and productive, as it seeks to continue its growth in a competitive market.

Consumers now have more alternatives for managing and investing their money. Gone are the days of choosing one major bank and paying a slew of fees. It is now a buyer's market and the success of financial technology (or fintech) is determined by which institutions can best adapt their services to specific consumers.

For most businesses, embracing the “tech” in fintech has become imperative, be it altering internal operations with new digital tools and processes or launching new products powered by machine learning to meet longer-term, bigger-picture goals. Fintech executives can now better serve their staff and customers by implementing company-wide digital changes and innovations.

In a recent conversation with Sanjay Jain, Freecharge's Chief Technology and Product Officer- DBAT, we discovered how the company has transformed its operations by leveraging the many functionalities of Slack. The conversation covered a variety of topics, including faster product development, increased cooperation, better issue resolution, and a favourable impact on compliance and data security.

Accelerated product development

According to Sanjay, you need best-in-class technologies if you want your DevSecOps teams to ship code swiftly and resolve issues promptly. However, development teams now deal with more tools, data, and geographically dispersed colleagues than ever before; this means that time is spent more on establishing context for each issue when it should rather be spent adding value.

To achieve the objective of creating a lean, mean development machine, you need to create an environment in which the relevant team members have access to the data and resources they require at precisely the right time. Before integrating Slack into their workflows, Freecharge faced challenges with a prolonged product release lifecycle, taking 6 to 7 months. "With Slack, this timeline drastically reduced, allowing us to launch 3 to 5 products every quarter, marking a significant leap in our go-to-market strategy," says Sanjay.

Efficient collaboration and compliance

A star quality that made the case for Freecharge adopting Slack is its cross-functional collaboration, especially when managing multiple products across multiple teams. “It was just seamless,” quipped Sanjay. When Freecharge switched to using Slack in 2020, it became easier for the company to align with members across different teams, due to its ease of integration and user experience. Prior to Slack, Sanjay mentioned that getting all the team members along on daily standups was a nightmare but Slack’s workflow feature sends auto reminders and notifications on specific channels and that led to a simpler process and more effective time management.

The other major challenge that Freecharge faced was documentation. When simultaneous discussions take place between product and business teams, a lack of proper documentation can create hurdles. But with Slack channels providing conversation histories, discussion points, and shared documents, it drastically improved the experience. Additionally, Slack’s canvas feature enhances collaboration, allowing teams to create, organise and share essential information. Instead of being buried deep in a sea of disparate email threads, all the information for each topic is centrally located and easily accessible. Additionally, app integrations such as calendars and emails, made it easier for teammates at Freecharge to access what they needed within Slack instead of having multiple tabs open. Sanjay says "Slack emerged as a catalyst for seamless collaboration within Freecharge, streamlining internal workflows and processes."

When asked about data sharing and privacy, Sanjay explained that: "The platform not only facilitated communication, but also contributed significantly to maintaining regulatory compliance and data security, crucial aspects in the highly regulated industry of fintech."

Issue resolution and customer satisfaction

Rapid response is essential for financial customer support at Freecharge. Customers want help right away, and money is an emotional commodity. Freecharge can elevate support tickets to the relevant channels using Slack; this technique is crucial for VIP support requests from significant clients.

Through Slack, Freecharge’s customer support teams are also able to obtain information from the appropriate sources in no time. If a customer support person cannot find the answer in a knowledge base, they can quickly connect via Slack with the relevant professional.

Previously, alerts from customer support were sent by email, and as a result notifications were easy to miss, and every problem was a complex maze of searching for the appropriate individuals and looping them into different email threads. Today, Freecharge has integrated everything together in Slack. “Slack's quick response capabilities played a crucial role during high traffic events like big billion days and festive seasons. By swiftly addressing customer complaints and resolving issues, Freecharge achieved a notable boost in customer satisfaction, positively impacting overall metrics,” adds Sanjay.

One of the biggest differentiators for Slack is the platform it provides for developers to create a sound banking experience by digitally transforming critical operations through custom apps. Sanjay emphasises: “Slack's impact has extended beyond operational efficiency. It has catalysed a culture of innovation at Freecharge, allowing us to test and implement new concepts rapidly.”

Freecharge uses Slack as its digital headquarters, enabling its workers to automate procedures and find quicker solutions to problems. Developers can boost SLA performance and speed up time to resolution by coordinating their tools and communication on Slack. An added bonus would be that new responders have instant access to the historical context of an issue without interrupting ongoing investigations.

Increasingly in fintech, where customer demands drive innovation and collaboration among teams, the role of workplace tools becomes paramount. And at Freecharge, Sanjay is gung-ho on Slack’s integration, primarily due to the vast impact that it has brought about – in the pace of product development, issue resolution, and the scale of innovation. Since integrating Slack into their operations over the past few years, Freecharge can attest to the positive impact it has had on their business.

It has helped them deliver and thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Freecharge is now able to launch products every quarter and that has provided them a boost in go-to-market strategies. The improved speed in issue resolution has led to stronger metrics and, most importantly, the collaborative environment fostered by Slack has allowed teams across the board to stay aligned and work together to map a stronger blueprint. As Freecharge continues to pave an innovative way forward in modern banking, Slack provides a solid platform to build both a cutting-edge product and culture.

Disclaimer: This article is generated and published by the Insider Studios team. You can get in touch with them on