Stress alleviation using a virtual reality headset for bankers, intensive analytics to forecast cash replenishment rates at rural ATMs, PoS machines with value-added services are some of the solutions that IIT Bombay students and faculty are working to create for state-owned lender Bank of Baroda.
The 11,000-odd students and hundreds of faculty members have begun work at their newly setup technology centre inside the sprawling IIT Powai campus in suburban Mumbai which could well become the launchpad for Bank of Baroda into the tech league of rival private sector banks.
“We are offering usecases, funding and mentorship to about 11,000 students, PhD fellows and faculty members at IIT Bombay,” Akhil Handa, head fintech & alliance, BOB told ET. “The idea is that in the true spirit of fintech innovation to get a leading BFSI organisation to collaborate with a technology institution of eminence.”
The newly-merged Bank of Baroda believes that by taking daily operational challenges to aspiring engineers and technologists, they can save up costs of collaboration that otherwise range in millions of dollars, and in the process, foster an “entrepreneurial spirit” among the students.
For this, the public sector lender has set aside an undisclosed corpus to fund successful ideas created during the programme at the innovation centre. BOB currently has over 40 tie ups with leading fintech cos such as CreditMantri, Truecaller, Probe42, Fisdom, CapitaWorld.
“We have earmarked a corpus for the programme with initial funding rounds between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs.40 lakh depending on the idea,” said Handa. “Of course, we are not averse to looking at additional rounds for funding as well if the said idea brings value to the table.