Sunday, October 2, 2011

6 things to KNOW about YOUR CUSTOMER (KYC)

 KYC = Know Your Customer - What a powerful business success phrase lost in its abbreviation. Yes, KYC has remained just identity and residential proof collection activities in Banks and in all other industries if at all they are implementing it.

Knowing customer is the MOST important success key for any business.  

Do we know our customers?? If yes then we will know what are his needs,what is he doing to fulfill it,  whether our offerings are matching his need and behavior,  whether he can afford it, whether he likes it , whether he recommends the same?? Yes knowing CUSTOMER is one of d most critical activities of any business.

Today when we are celebrating birthday of one of the greatest leaders of world's MK Gandhi, his view of the customer is worth knowing.

 "A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

What one need to know about our CUSTOMERS:

1) Why he selects us to do business with?

2) Whether we fulfills his need as per his expectations?

3) Whether are there any sacrifices he has to do to avail our services? (i.e. expectations minus actual experience with our offerings)

4) Whether can we do something which can exceed his expectations when he visits next?
What & How it could be?
5) Whether & HOW can we pleasantly surprise him in the next encounter with our brand?

6) How can we make his life easier , more pleasant and less painful? 

KYC is not equal to address proof and photo ID. Its MUSH MUCH more & deeper than that.  However we only stop at stage 1. What a powerful business management phrase, missed its target completely!!!!


  1. Posted on Linkedin by Parvati Mahadev,
    Insights Consulting Partner at Brandscapes Consultancy,Mumbai Area, India

    Hi. I agree that KYC is apowerful tool that ia no tbeing developed adeuqately by customer centric sectors like banks. Any ideas on how to KYC - what determinants actually help to improve customer servicing better.

  2. Posted on Linkedin: Surjeet Singh, CHIEF MANAGER at PUNJAB & SIND BANK
    New Delhi Area, India•

    No doubt KYC is powerful tool in business management but it has been reduced to paper formality. Just collection of papers.

  3. Posted on Linkedin by ARVIND KADUSKAR ,
    SENIOR MANAGER (IT) at Bank of Maharashtra,
    Nagpur Area, India

    I also agree with whatever you say but it is not the perfect tool unless the customers provide the required informtion. Also we can not avoid the fact that the bankers are only punching the required data (as per their will at different branches at different places). The actual moto beyond KYC is to cater the needs of the customers but question remains whether we are doing so just by completing paper formality and declaring the the KYC compliance is complied with.

  4. Hi Parvati,

    Well many things. ppl ask abt how they are performing in their feedback forms,. They shud ask whether expectations of the customers were met while dealing with the company ? how they can better their services ? which are the area of their concern while dealing with their offings ? try to go one step further to know how customers are fulfilling their needs for other complimentary needs, what they like abt our competitors if & when they deal with them? Many such insightful things can lead to better and superior customer experience.

    U may like my post

  5. Posted on Linkedin by Dr Santhanam Srinivasan Independent Banking Professional, Pune Area, India .

    As an Ex-banker in India, I share my experience on KYC. When I was a branch manager (late 1970s), we used to do what was then called introduction of the customer when a new account was required to be opened. Such introductions were done either by a known bank customer by taking his/ her signature on the account opening card / applicarion or by the branch manager, who would introduce the prospective customer, if he/ she was satisfied about the bonafides of the prospective customer. It was a simple affair then. By this process, nothing big happened adversely affecting the banks business. But, after the introduction of KYC norms a few years ago, if any non-banker had read the RBI circular on KYC norms, they would have observed that the first circular was issued linking it to the money laundering irrespective of the place of operations of the branch (be it rural or urban or semi-urban or metros or sensitive areas or not). Subsequently, some relaxations have been introduced by the RBI. But, the damage has been done as bankers do not want to take any responsibility of introducing a prospective customer and just feel happy in complying with the instructions and not really trying to know if the customer is a risk to the bank. Of course, with technology in place, it has become more difficult to be flexible for a banker to do banking with a prospective customer. The moral is that when banking was done with more faith and gut feelings, things worked better for the banks and the customers. But, when technology and stricter norms have come into play, bankers have become just compliance officers of instructions and forgotton the beauty of doing banking.

  6. Posted on Linkedin by Suresh Gadwal,Banking and Finance Leader, Bengaluru Area, India.

    Today, there is evolution in any business adopting technology, not just banking alone. Even everyday life has changed so much now, making it simpler & better, with the evolution and adoption of technology in everything that we do !

    KYC is just another evolution in Banking. Only irony is that the human mindset is not as fast in adopting itself to the evolutions as quickly as they are arriving !

    Nobody seems to appreciate that KYC is a necessity today just as any other evil necessities of everyday life - a CellPhone or a Tablet... and the like... ! If it is for the good for the users and the service providers of our Banking services, why not religiously follow it as good citizens and good human beings ?Take the positives in the evolution.

    True, sometimes Bankers feel their discretion which existed before the arrival of KYC on the scene, is clipped and they experience suffocation in compliances to the core, letting go good business opportunities. They wouldn't have done so if only there were some discretions were permitted while complying KYC.

    As long as the going is good, no one questions anything or anybody.May be the non compliances go unnoticed or ignored. But in the present situation,the moment something goes haywire, the Regulators, the Law enforcers or even the Civil Society, collectively or individually stand up to question any non compliance by the service providers or the users.

    Mind you, KYC is not just a formality or a collection of a set of documents. It is ESTABLISHING AN IDENTITY FOR AN INDIVIDUAL OR A BUSINESS . So, isn't it for the good of everyone that we practice and comply with KYC ? .Afterall, Banking is also a necessity today, like any other necessities of life, for a simpler, safer and better life. And, of course BETTER BANKING too !!!!

  7. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you


    <a href=" Your Customer India</a>

  8. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Know Your Customer

  9. Thanx Sathya to you and yr cousin.


    Read collection of this blog posts in the book form.