MUMBAI: While bricks-and-mortar banks in India are here to stay, they will have to prepare for a whole digital evolution if they are to cater for an ever more digitally savvy customer base, a leading financial marketing executive has said.

Mohit Ganju, head of marketing and communications at IndusInd Bank, told Campaign India that the company is seeking to build its brand by offering a "seamless interaction across the digital platform" in addition to its traditional services.

Although the bank currently has only 80,000 internet banking customers compared to more than a million who use traditional methods, he predicted that online transactions will only increase as consumers' safety concerns are allayed.

As one of a new generation of private banks that was founded in 1994 and underwent a brand remodelling in 2008, he said IndusInd is seeking to stand out by offering confidence, ease and convenience for consumers.

It does so guided by an underlying principle of "Responsive Innovations", he explained, and an example of this includes the bank's recently launched campaign to encourage "face-to-face" meetings with bank staff via video.

This has replaced interactive voice response (IVR) technology, which research showed was a frustrating experience for Indian consumers, who are more comfortable talking face-to-face.

The video call initiative, which is generating 700 calls a day, is a first for India – and also in the world, he claimed.

"The service fits in with the bank's philosophy and the fact that the service makes banking easy for consumers," Ganju said. "The proof in the pudding for us is the surge in the usage we're seeing."

In terms of marketing, he said TV remains important because IndusInd is a mass brand that has to reach all corners of India. But digital, currently about 20% of its total marketing budget, will only increase in the future.

"While we continue to set up branches and ATMs, we are preparing for a digital future," he said.

"In the coming months we will launch some more stuff that promotes digital banking. The customer of tomorrow is looking at a balance of traditional and digital banking," he added.

Data sourced from Campaign India; additional content by Warc staff