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Innovation Is The Key Factor For Fintechs To Keep The Pace Going

Manish Bhatia, President – Technology, Analytics & Capabilities, Lendingkart

Former CTO of Amazon Pay India who played a pivotal role in the development for its India payments business, Manish is responsible for developing technology stack, risk management and data and analytics and improving customer acquisition and overall business growth of Lendingkart.

During the dotcom boom from 1995 to 2000s, then commerce startups like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, were able to build businesses and scale them on an already available payment infrastructure. India is unique in that sense, where the financial and payment infrastructure are still at an early stage and being built out currently. But now with cheap data being broadly available, citizens are coming online and discovering content, news, social media and are getting acquainted with finding information online.

In this article, I will summarize some broad areas that are ripe for disruption in the fintech space and are essential for extending financial inclusion and reach.

Big Data & AI First Approach: Data from Transactional SMS, banking, Point of Sale, Invoices, Internet of Things (IoT) etc is a huge lever to understand the underserved and credit starved customers better. Big Data along with AI on alternate data is a key to discovering hidden

patterns for better risk management, convivence, recommendations, fraud detections and more.

Data Safety & Security: It is the Holy Grail for building trust in this early stage of fin-tech eco system. To identify an individual, Biometrics technology uses physically unique features like fingerprint, face (with mask now), voice, and retina. There are behavioural biometrics like the way a person types on the keyboard, touches, drags etc , which can also be used to detect account take overs, identity spoofing, and present second factor authentication. These requirements are pushing new set of innovations in driving data safety and security to the next level in the fintech space.

Compliance Tech: As Data Privacy, storage, compliance, consent becomes mainstream, regulators are trying to bridge the gap between policies and technology advances. There is a need for predictive analysis, services and tools to automate compliance tasks, address and reduce risks and auto detect compliance breaches as new features are released at breakneck speed. As financial regulations become complex, compliance Tech will help bring transparency and get early warning systems in place and reduce compliance costs.

Blockchain Technologies: The ability to provide a distributed ledger which is transparent, secure and reliable is quite powerful. While cryptocurrency is the biggest use-case on blockchain technology right now, use of blockchain in fintech mainly remains untapped. There is big scope of innovation in the areas like reconciliation, settlement, open systems build for credit, payments, banking, invoices etc.

Bank as a Service (BaaS) and Bank as a Platform (BaaP): Open platform and open API access allow Banks, NBFCs, and partners consent based access to banking information to build innovative products. This adds to the value chain by creating better financial products that address specific customer needs and pain points.

Overall, the exponential growth in mobile data subscriptions, which stands at 5 approximately 500MM currently, has provided access to these potential customers to the world of fintech. Basic financial transactions like payment, banking, loan, etc are still something that needs grass root level built-up of trust, convenience and financial inclusion to scale it to the Tier-3 cities and beyond.

Innovating your way out of these fundamental tight spots is in fact the need of the hour for fintech firms in order to build customer centric products which will in turn help them scale and extend reach. I believe we are at the tip of the iceberg currently in India / South East Asia, and most of the addressable opportunities are mainly untapped.

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