This Bank is Rooting For Financial Inclusion by Partnering with Fintech Start-ups RBL enjoys working with start-ups and has even set up a special team for the same

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Fintech has been the buzzword of 2017 and is anticipated to make the right noise in the right room throughout 2018. For some of the financial institutes these new-age technology companies can be a cause of nightmare while for others, it is a medium of collaboration to achieve a larger goal – financial inclusion. One such bank which is bullish about partnering with fintech start-ups is RBL.

Rajeev Ahuja, Executive Director, RBL, who feels businesses across sectors are going through a rapid business model reset said, "The world of financial services even in India, which has a lot of supply challenges as many banks are not well equipped and there are other issues as you go to the PSU route, is going to change very fast with technology as an amplifier."

This led the bank, which is fairly new in the Indian BFSI space, to set up a special team internally by pulling resources from other departments that would work along with the independent business on fintech initiatives. This exercise led to their partnership with fintech companies.

These fintech companies boasted of focussed solution for specific needs and had a different capital structure, but what they lacked was the banking layouts which RBL bought on board through the partnership.

Presently, the bank has tied up with fintech start-ups like Money Tribe, Capital Float, Indifi , Qbera, either directly or through hackathons for assistance in areas like rural banking, digital lending, payment and prepaid cards.

Apart from improving the backend and the customer acquisition process, he added the bank has learned a lot about customer insights from the fintech start-ups and enjoys working with them for following three reasons:


The financial institution is a firm believer in the ecology of an idea that they can mushroom anywhere and it is not necessary that each one of their initiative is a success story.

He feels some of the fintech start-ups have some amazing consumer base and business ideas. "They do not see things like the bank does, which gives them an opportunity to dissect and look for solutions," Ahuja shared with the Entrepreneur India.


Most of the Indian banks are backed with tedious processes and a long legacy which restricts them to experiment with innovative ideas.

But in the case of fintech start-ups, he added the companies bring certain agility in the way they work, test and iterate which is not something that banks do very easily.

Young Workforce

Additionally, many of the fintech start-ups have a much younger team who bring multiple skills such as design, data centricity, iteration etc as against a bank.

Ahuja claimed, "It is not that we could not have done these things ourselves, however, sometimes when you are sitting with people who are doing this since a while, you learn a lot more than going and plodding yourselves."

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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