Satyajeet Kunjeer is the Founder of Deciml – a micro-investing and micro-savings app that enables young Indians to auto-invest their spare change from online transactions into Mutual Funds or Fixed Return Funds. Satyajeet is a CFA Level 2 and experienced entrepreneur who founded Deciml with an aim to make investing effortless and initiate more young Indians into the investment ecosystem. While Satyajeet’s formal education is in finance, Deciml is his second entrepreneurial venture, but his first startup endeavor within the FinTech ecosystem.
A few decades ago, paying bills meant waiting in long queues at the bank counter to deposit your payment. Similarly, cash withdrawal meant carrying a signed cheque to the bank and requesting the executive to give cash. However, with rapid technological advancements and changing customer behavior, the pace of every service has increased and that includes the banking and finance industry.
Today, people, especially the younger generations, are used to getting everything at the click of a few buttons – be it grocery, online shopping, ticket booking, bill payment, food ordering, or money transfer. The expectations from the banking and financial sector are the same. However, traditional banking is relatively slow, not interactive and often intimidating.
In recent years, fintech companies have mushroomed rapidly to overcome many of the sector’s long-standing concerns like complex electronic payment methods, customer service, and credit access. These firms have shifted gears and disrupted the age-old paradigm of finance and banking by offering a seamless experience and consistent interaction to customers. They have bridged the gap by making financial management easier and smoother for the masses. As a result, users are keener to explore financial products and services. Furthermore, fintech companies have used cutting-edge technology to ensure that basic money-related concepts are simpler to grasp for the younger generation making their initiation in this ecosystem easier.
While the concepts of saving, investing and money management have always had some kind of a presence in Indian households, the approach differed. Children were encouraged to save the money they received in festive envelopes in a piggy bank while the adults created Fixed Deposits or Savings Accounts, and collected spare change in small silk purses. Some even converted their savings into physical assets like gold or real estate to generate better returns.
New-age fintech firms have made saving, investing, and money management easier, faster, and more convenient than what it was – not just for the older generations, but also for the Indian youth, by providing user-centered platforms and apps that make it easier to execute financial choices and start the saving and investing journeys from the comforts of one’s home.
The rapid advancement of the fintech sector and emphasis on saving have led to an uptrend in stock market investing in India as well. The drivers of this shift are young investors, including millennials. A Bombay Stock Exchange report indicates that the total number of registered users crossed 7 crores in March 2021. It took only 139 days for this jump in the number of registered users to reach 7 crores from 6 crores.
Let us see the different ways in which new-age fintech firms, especially those targeted toward young millennials, are innovating the concept of saving and investing.
Most of us set aside a portion of our income as savings because we know and believe savings come in handy – whether during an emergency or for fulfilling the larger goals in life. Fintechs have simply automated the savings process, making it smoother and less time-consuming by minimizing the long queues and tedious paperwork.
Moreover, a lot of new-age fintech platforms gamify savings to encourage young Indians to save more money instead of spending it. The approach is to provide non-monetary rewards and a sense of ownership to them.
Investing to make every rupee count
That investing helps to grow money actively and build long-term wealth is something most of the younger generation is already aware of. However, due to the lengthy process, paperwork, brokerage charges, and other complications, they tend to put it aside for a later point in time. Moreover, if the amount is small, like ₹500, the thought of saving and investing it is ignored.
Multiple fintechs are making the investing journey easier, quicker, and affordable by minimizing the paperwork and allowing users to start investing in just a few simple steps. Moreover, fintechs and technology at large are helping to unpack and uncomplicate the financial ecosystem, thus making it more accessible to the younger audience.
Micro-investing is another relatively new feature that gives early investors access to investing instruments. It allows an investor to start investing with a small amount of savings and instills the habit of wealth creation into their lives early on.
The spare change investing concept emerges from the scope of micro-investing, allowing users to invest a small amount of spare change automatically every time they make an online transaction. By automating and simplifying the investing process thus, micro-investing and spare change investing platforms are helping young Indians start investing right away and grow their money rather than delay the process on account of common reasons such as lack of sufficient funds, mastery or time.
The assets one can invest the spare change into include direct equities, mutual funds, digital gold, etc.
Assistance in tracking your expenses effortlessly and effectively
Budgeting is a crucial aspect of financial planning and management. Most households followed the age-old method of maintaining monthly budgets with the expense and income columns. However, with budgeting apps, individuals can now monitor their spending patterns and set multiple budgets more effectively and efficiently. Money management is no longer time-consuming. Whether it is for personal or corporate use, budgeting apps have made it easier to track transactions of all kinds and enabled the identification of expenses that could have been evaded or minimized – thus not only helping to save money, but also the additional time and effort.
The growth of the fintech sector has revolutionised the country’s financial services and empowered individuals to have better control over their financial decisions by contributing to financial literacy. The focus of fintech platforms has shifted from seasoned investors to the unbanked population, which struggles to understand the working of fundamental financial products.
Although this rapidly evolving industry may seem like a rosy picture of simply investing with big returns, young investors must research the market and the associated financial instruments before investing. It is common for this demographic to act impulsively with money and investment. Moreover, their expectations from the stock market are high, with a desire to score high returns in a short time.
While fintechs have eliminated investors’ apprehensions about verifications, brokerage charges, and numerous interfaces with older systems and are making the savings and investing journeys simpler and more accessible – specifically for young Indians, the onus of basic research and understanding of one’s personal financial goals still rests with investors.