Decoding the Omnichannels of Indian Fintech Start-ups
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The concept of online marketplaces came into existence just recently. But the brick and mortar format has been there for long. While this is true when it comes to retail, fintech startups have also started following the same lead.
Der Customer ist Konig
The time is ripe to decode why fintech startups are going omnichannel. Pushkar Mukewar, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Drip Capital, says, "In the recent past, a good proportion of fintech startups, notably those in the lending space, have moved from the online-only model and have adopted an omnichannel approach, blending online and offline.”
The success of fintech startups have been largely defined by customer base. Mukewar believes that online, digital, contactless lending have been fintech start-up's USP and it has served well in acquiring a large customer base. “By going omnichannel, fintech companies believe they can offer more complete customer experience and can interact with customers better in the medium that best suits them."
Moving Towards a Paperless Era
The accounting scenario of the country creates a vivid image. With papers stacked one above the other, managing finances has always been seen as a tedious activity. However, with the digital boom and the advent of technology, several creases in the system smoothened. But there is a flipside to this as well, explains, Raj Khosla, founder and MD of MyMoneyMantra.com, says, “Fintechs which started with a purely online, paperless and straight through the strategy for distributing loans in India have had to change their core business model.”
Customer of today’s time have become more demanding than ever. If they don’t get something, they might as well drop it.
Khosla explains that fintech startups have been forced to adopt a more flexible concept-the omnichannel philosophy and have modified their purely digital platforms into physical coupled with digital set-ups to interact seamlessly with the end-users. “Some of these players have realized the importance of being able to service their customers – physically and digitally.”
Changing the Face of the Banking System
The fintech ecosystem has also changed the face of banks, NBFCs and other financial institutions, “On the other side of the distribution spectrum are large banks with huge network of branches. Most banks that were heavily dependent on branches for distribution are investing in creating real-time digital interfaces for their customers to assist the physical fulfillment teams.” He says that eventually, main street banks, as well as online lenders both, need to ensure an agile, relevant and integrated customer experience. So whether one is talking about banks or an online platform, diverse channels remains an unchanging attribute.
A Wider Reach and Accessibility
One of the biggest reasons why omnichannel approach is essential for fintech start-ups to succeed is because they provide a wider audience.
Anand Kumar Bajaj, founder and CEO of PayNearby, says “An omnichannel approach is essential to reach a wider audience. Today’s tech savvy customers are channel agnostic and avail products and services across multiple devices. So, it is important to provide consistent interactions across multiple devices and formats for a unified and seamless user experience.” He also adds that 90 per cent of Indians, “who are tech shy and still rely on offline transactions need to be serviced through tech led assisted modules, that delivers value at the last mile.”
He concludes by saying that not only a multi-device strategy, but a strategy that can unify and connect the online and offline experiences is important for a more inclusive growth.
Sergey Sedov, CEO of Robocash Group, says that going omnichannel will help fintech companies to go into the unventured territories, “Going omnichannel also means being more accessible for customers. In rural areas with no bank branches, online loans are nearly the only available form of lending. If we consider offline branches, transactions there may cost more but allow serving people without either bank accounts or any other formal account.”