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Women are often considered to be active participant of consumer goods but a handful of them have carved a niche in product execution and development. In the fintech space, which is predominately dominated by the males, Rati Shetty began her journey as an entrepreneur with BankBazaar.com nearly a decade ago.
Speaking to Entrepreneur on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Rati spoke about how women entrepreneurs are warming up to the fintech space today.
“Traditionally, women have been left out of financial matters because their limited exposure to the financial world and fewer learning opportunities tended to restrict the level of their financial knowledge. However, this trend is turning, and more and more women in India are taking an active interest in their finances. Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of women utilizing banking services,” she said.
Established in 2008 and headquartered in Chennai, BankBazaar is India’s first neutral online marketplace that gives you instant customized rate quotes on loans, credit cards and insurance products.
Things that barred women from fintech
When asked about the main hiccups for women in this sector, Rati said that the primary roadblock has been accessibility to information as well to products, something technology has managed to solve very well.
“The ubiquitous personal mobile devises have improved the access to the internet. Understanding this, banks are moving away from their brick-and-mortar structures and going digital. Today, every bank has a digital/mobile based service. It is possible to do everything from opening a savings account to getting a loan over a mobile phone through platform like ours. This solves the accessibility problems, especially for women who are homemakers or have responsibilities that require them to be present at home or workplace for extended periods of time,” she said.
Moreover, a large amount educational content related to financial products and services is online, often provided and managed by financial institutions and service providers. This helps such women – who form a very significant part of Indian female population – have a better understanding of the financial services available and easier means to access these services, she added.
According to Rati, their business idea was an outcome of a personal experience. “The pain points that existed in the offline world, the time and effort involved in the loan process offline, presented an opportunity for a technology based solution and, hence, we came into being,” she said
Hat tip for aspiring fintech entrepreneurs
When asked for tips for young executives venturing into the fintech space Rati adviced that one must always have your finger on pulse of your customer. “Every business is dictated by the demands of the market. How well you understand and satisfy your customer requirements will define how successful you are. The key is to understand customer pain points and develop a solution around it. Technologies is a great enabler and use it to build intuitive solutions that keep the customer at the centre,” she said.
Bankbazaar is designed with smart technology capabilities and today has over 30 leading financial institutions and insurance firms of India have chosen to integrate themselves with the platform.