HSBC Kinetic: coping with operational disruption

Interview with Vinita Ramtri, Director for Risk & Governance, HSBC Kinetic

The pandemic forced businesses of all shapes and sizes to shift their modus operandi. Accommodating the changing world of work and the new demands it created became a new priority over night, and businesses are still feeling the effects as we enter into a world of hybrid working and services. We caught up with Vinita Ramtri, Director at HSBC, who works closely with both HSBC Kinetic and HSBC Commercial on their proposition and future strategy, to hear HSBC Kinetic’s story. Let’s see what she had to say.

“We have always had customers at the forefront of our mind and have ensured continued focus on simple, straightforward and intuitive customer journeys.”

Let’s start at the very beginning. How and why was HSBC Kinetic created? What gives HSBC Kinetic an edge compared to the competition?

HSBC Kinetic was created in order to offer small business owners a unique proposition combining the innovation of a challenger bank with the trust and security of a global bank. This is not only our purpose but also our strength because this unique blend is what gives us an edge.

We have always had customers at the forefront of our mind and have ensured continued focus on simple, straightforward and intuitive customer journeys. That said, we take customer security and customer care very seriously and our journeys, though simple, are extremely mindful of aspects such as cyber risk and the risk of fraudsters looking to take advantage of the digital adoption.

We believe our customers love what we do. We are proud of our App Store ratings of 4.8 and a Play Store ratings of 4.2. Always mindful of our customers, we offer a speedy and fully digital on-boarding process, a broad suite of offerings such as partnerships with WeWork, Aviva and G-Suite, and various features such as access to simple financial management solutions that save them time and money. Our instant in-app chat service reassures them that we are always happy to help.

But this is only the beginning. With the key products in place, we continue to listen to our customers and are working very hard to improve upon what we do by listening to our customers and building new capabilities to serve them even better.

“One, we remained focussed on our customer commitment and two, as a team, we did all we could to support one another.”

How did HSBC Kinetic face the operational disruption caused by the pandemic? It couldn’t have been easy, having only just launched.

You are right. The pandemic was certainly a difficult period for us all including the team and our customers alike and we were only just getting started. However, we did two key things. One, we remained focussed on our customer commitment and two, as a team, we did all we could to support one another. We also used HSBC Kinetic as a platform to on-board new customers so that they could apply for coronavirus government-backed lending schemes. It wasn’t always easy to balance it all, such as working from home whilst moving plans continually adapting the app (such as facilitating access to government loans), yet we are truly proud of everything we did and continue to do.

Were there any advantages to being a digital bank? Were you able to act in a more agile way because of this?

There are both advantages and disadvantages. The key advantage is that since we were a digital proposition to begin with, we didn’t have to alter our overall strategy. Given our digital nature, we were certainly able to act in a more agile way but here I’d like to quote the Peter Parker principle from Spider-Man that with great power comes great responsibility and therefore, we had to be absolutely on top of things such as ensuring the resilience of the app, keeping customers safe from fraud and fulfilling our duty of care such as ensuring that the app is compliant for accessibility and protecting customers who may be vulnerable.

“We must always remain mindful that it’s all about the people and not one size fits all.”

You’re going to be speaking with us at MoneyLIVE Autumn Festival in our session Remote, hybrid, local? The future of work, what are your priorities when it comes to leading teams in this new environment?

Thank you, I am certainly looking forward to the session. My views aren’t very fixed and I believe it’s more about the principles. While different firms will need to decide and devise varied solutions most suited to their circumstances, we must always remain mindful that it’s all about the people and not one size fits all. The aim is to make it safe for everyone to return and then allow some flexibility and choice so that people can begin with renewed clarity and confidence as they feel ready to do so.

Vinita Ramtri is the Director for Risk and Governance at HSBC Kinetic, HSBC’s mobile first banking app for small businesses in the UK. Prior to that, Vinita has held various roles such as heading Conduct Risk and Controls Automation at Barclays. Bringing with her over 23 years of corporate experience across four industries and three countries, Vinita covered roles ranging from leadership development to customer experience and process excellence. With over 700 hours of coaching and mentoring experience, Vinita is also an accredited as a senior practitioner by the European Coaching and Mentoring Council. Vinita is a prolific writer and has authored two books.

Want to hear more from Vinita? Join her at MoneyLIVE Autumn Festival: The Big Meet-up on 17 November 2021 at the QEII Centre.
Vinita is speaking in Session 3: Remote, hybrid, local? The future of work in banking. Get your ticket here.

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