Amit Nigam, COO & Executive Director, BANKIT

With 22+ years of rich experience, Amit has worked at top management in Telecom, FMCG and Fintech companies like Airtel, Aditya Birla group. He was one of the founding members of Spice Money. With a proven track record of turning Greenfield projects into profit-making company and running the BANKIT business his leadership qualities.

 

The human race is facing the biggest crisis of this generation, and the world post-pandemic will never be the same. There has not been a single nation or industry which is unaffected and unharmed from this pandemic. The decisions and actions taken today by governments and businesses will shape the future of the world we live in. Covid crisis has caused disruption, and what can work better than technology in a disrupted market. Fintech is one segment that has leveraged technology most optimally to produce business models focusing on distribution and aggregation of financial services products. 

Fintech startups have been the forbearers of the Indian unicorn ecosystem and are increasingly growing in number. As more entrepreneurs are inclining towards fintech business models, the market has now become highly competitive. This, combined with the changing business environment, makes it challenging for fintech startups to grow sustainably in the new normal. It is, however, a suitable time for fintechs to leverage their unique assets and seize new opportunities. Here are some practices that fintech startups can adopt to sustain and grow in the new normal.

  • Innovation and Advancement

The pandemic has pushed fintech startups to continue innovating and providing essential financial services to customers in the new post-Covid world. This will help users shift towards digital payments, online transactions and even new livelihoods. As innovators, fintechs bolstered the quarantined population and provided them with a whole range of financial services from the comfort of their homes. 

The future of fintech lies in innovation that will further facilitate holistic financial services via a single mobile interface for users in India, enabling cross-selling of services over one platform. New-age fintech platforms offer consolidated fintech solutions to users, allowing them to carry out a range of operations such as spending, lending, investing, fund transfer, etc. Fintechs assisting e-commerce on existing B2B2C platforms is another advancement observed in a post lockdown ecosystem. 

Identify New Market Segments

In 2019 the number of rural users surpassed urban internet users by a margin of 10%, and this number has only grown in 2020, making the country’s rural space ripe for disruption by new-age fintech players. Effective digital solutions designed particularly for rural customers will lead fintech towards capturing this market segment. AePS & mATM comprises one such solution that has the potential to thread through all of these requirements.

In India, financial services offered by AePS delivers a robust channel to reach out to the underprovided and underserved segment. Since many people, including those belonging to remote regions, are already linked with Aadhaar, AePS can play an instrumental role in enabling the much-needed paradigm shift towards a new, hassle-free transactional routine in the post-pandemic new normal. 

  • Safer and Secure Practices

Digital transactions contain data risk. Amidst the data theft scare, fintechs will have to educate customers of the risk involved and how to protect themselves from malware and other related frauds. Fintech companies need to focus more on security features and managing customer data safely and securely. This will, in turn, build customers’ trust in transacting financial information through online platforms, which is essential in the new normal, where customers are not left with much choice but to transact online.  

  • Transparency and decentralisation

To cope with the new normal, fintech needs to integrate blockchain technology and ensure decentralised data and transparency in processes to cope with the new normal. This will not only protect against fraud but also create a ledger of all transactions. The most high-profile use of blockchain in fintech has been cryptocurrencies, which allow users to hold money without a bank. Fintech startups can adopt it for safe processes as well as for money management.

  • Outsourcing

Outsourcing reduces the workload for a company’s in-house team and is considered effective for startups and small businesses. Outsourcing IT and other services brings efficiency and ensure talent is used to full potency along with the safety and security of the products. FinTech outsourcing can be used as a business strategy by financing technology companies to hire a third-party service provider to handle the various technological operations.

  • Supporting government initiatives

Fintechs can be imperative in disbursing government aid and supporting government initiatives. Governments want to provide quality financial services, and fintech can expand reach to the unbanked or under-banked and the uninsured or under-insured while also supporting positive social and economic outcomes. Fintechs can work in partnership with government agencies and help devise policies concerning financial aid and assistance. This will make the entire process efficient and sufficiently robust and act as an enabler for customers to benefit from government policies online without any hassle. The government will also be able to financially help families who lost livelihoods due to the spread of the virus, giving more comprehensive access to funds.

  • Internet Of Things

Over the last few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been ubiquitous and can revolutionise the fintech space with easy payment options for various utilities. The Internet of Things can be found acting as mobile point-of-sale systems and cybersecurity tools that safely process and encrypt payment information. According to Fortune Business Insights, the new age world is demanding more sophisticated processes, and therefore, by 2026, IoT is expected to reach $116.27 billion in banking, insurance and financial services.

  • Developing Customer Trust

It may take some time before people feel safe again to visit banks and other financial institutions. As everything moves online, customers who are used to face-to-face interactions will find it challenging to engage a lot of money in online transactions. This is where fintechs can fill the gap of building customer trust by interacting with them more sensitively. Fintech can adopt video conferencing tools that enable communication between banks, insurance companies and mutual fund providers and their customers, facilitating a face to virtual transactions.

The potential of fintechs in providing secure, low-cost, and contactless financial services has become even more apparent during the crisis. Considering present trends, unlocking a safer, more accessible, and inclusive fintech ecosystem is no longer a matter of possibility but merely that of time.

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