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In the world of banking where every bank had similar value propositions it was very difficult to create differentiation. Yet for Kotak Mahindra Bank it was the need of the hour to gain mind and market share. With the media consumption habits of the youth changing rapidly towards mobile and native social platforms, Kotak Mahindra needed to build a strong digital brand proposition that would appeal to them.


All a Kotak customer had to do was register and then send Tweets with designated hashtags through Twitter to perform a range of banking transactions. Users could simply use a Tweet to transfer money between friends, locate the nearest ATM or recharge mobile or DTH. Not only that, hashtag banking allowed users to even book movie tickets, buy books through a Tweet and even preorder them.

But how did we do something that has never been done before.

We created a cloud based listening server deeply integrated with Twitter using its API. We also created a social messaging server integrated with the core banking platform of Kotak. The moment a user sent a Tweet, our listening server parsed it instantly, and passed it securely to the messaging server, and then onwards to the banks core system. Once the request was authenticated and processed the response or confirmation was tweeted back to the user using a direct message.


Hashtag banking has been a run away hit with all major publications covering its impact on banking in India. Hashtag banking has also received international acclaim with Kotak Mahindra winning the best new product at EFMA Innovation Awards in Spain. Till date thousands of customers have registered for hashtag banking generating tens of thousands of requests. However, the biggest gain has been in terms of brand impact with key brand score having gone up by 10 percent making Kotak Mahindra the leading new age digital bank in India today.

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