The Transaction Generator Kaleidofin offers simple, well designed, financial solutions on a tech platform to address the needs of over 600 million under-banked Indians engaged in the informal economy
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A brand new financial industry that applies technology to improve financial activities, escorted to the term Fintech. To be precise, during the pre-Covid life, where social distancing was just a phenomenon seen only in movies and novels, fintech service was an unsung hero. When the conceptualization of 'everything within-your-grasp' effectuated among us in countless tactics, Kaleidofin elevated the fintech ecosystem proficiently.
Kaleidofin, a fintech platform, with a mission to make the customers' life goals a reality by providing intuitive and tailored financial solutions. It offers simple, well designed, financial solutions on a tech platform to address the needs of over 600 million under-banked Indians engaged in the informal economy.
Just a tap on your phone, you can pay your bills, sit comfortably at your living, within a split of second you can transact money, shop while travelling and what not. When consumers prefer such easy access, fintech firms have to compete in the market to be on top.
Natasha Jethanandani, co-founder and CTO of Kaleidofin Private Limited shared the firm's strategy to maintain the top position in the sector. As per her words, there are two aspects that the company gives considerable importance to.
"We invest in a constant feedback loop from the end-users, directly or through our field teams, which helps us improve upon existing services being offered and add new features. Also, we believe that constant investment in skill sets of the product, technology and data science teams is critical for the team members to be encouraged to dedicate time to stay in touch with the latest developments in industry," said Jethanandani.
It is said that with the deepening integration of Internet technology and the financial industry, fintech has offered numerous financial services. Nevertheless, being asked about the challenges faced by the fintech firm, the CTO revealed that Kaleidofin's customers are part of the underbanked and informal sectors. Even though the majority of households have a smartphone, the technology adoption, especially for financial services has been limited. Very few, only 13 per cent in rural regions, have ever done one online transaction and much fewer have done any financial transaction.
"Our biggest challenge therefore is to ensure our tech platform has been designed to reduce friction. For instance, our app provides an option of many different Indian languages. We provide both app-based and non-app based flows that also leverage voice commands for easy use," added the CTO, while manifesting the optimistic aim to make Kaleidofin the first digital financial service that a customer has used and subsequently the preferred platform for them.
As a part of this, the firm has invested in an assisted model approach to ensure customers have last mile support. Kaleidofin has partnerships with MFIs, regional banks, NGOs and other institutions who serve the informal sector and have a physical connection with them. They provide the tech to partners' agents which in turn enables them to onboard customers and hand hold the customers through the first few transactions.
It is possible to understand that none of these efforts by Kaleidofin are in vain while analyzing their success digits so far. As per the company's official data given, Kaleidofin currently has over 1.4 million transacting customers, present in over 400 districts out of a total of 700 districts of India. For instance, the earlier version of 'ki cash', the micro-savings solution, has over 100,000 customers, with an average individual balance of INR 7000.
"We also measure the impact of Kaleidofin's solutions by observing the behavioural change and acceptance of formal financial services amongst the target group," said Jethanandani, explaining the firm's grip on profitability.
Profit, the core of any business and the reason anyone would start a business in the first place, in a practical sense. Profitability gives a holistic view of how well a company is doing. As far as Kaleidofin is concerned, technology is an enabler. The firm uses technology to address some of the barriers, such as lack of access and unsuitable product design that exists today in the financial sector for the informal group of customers.
"If the value proposition is right and the business is well planned, increasing the business volume is perhaps more efficient for a tech platform. Most importantly, making all products customer centric is key to adoption and positive word of mouth," said the CTO.
Asking about the future plans of a company which is only focused on success increases curiosity. While unfolding the upcoming targets and plans, Natasha Jethanandani said that, "Last few years we have worked on creating a robust technology platform and designing the right products. We also made changes along the way based on customer feedback. We have recently also introduced a unique savings product in partnership with SBM Bank India- a savings product that truly promises to be low-cost and with no hidden costs."
She further added, "I believe we have our building blocks- proof of concept for key products; technology platform; partnerships – in place. We hope to expand our customer base and actual usage of products at an exciting level in the near future- next few years."
As per the market estimates, the Indian fintech market currently stands as the third largest fintech ecosystem in the world behind the US and China. According to a report by BlinC Insights, the overall size of the Indian financial service sector in 2021 is estimated at $500 billion, of which, the fintech market comprises $31 billion.
· Year of inception (2017)
· No. of employees total number of employees 134 (26 women)
· External funding received so far ($23 million)