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Emerging Trends in the Fintech Space in 2017 The first thing that immediately comes to mind is net banking, using digital wallets, and using credit/debit cards etc to make payments cashless.

By Nikhil Kamath

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The years 2015 and 2016 have been extremely formative for the Indian fintech sector, we have seen numerous fintech startups, incubators and investments from both public and private investors. The murmur around this industry have gained substantial attention of traditional financial institutions, startups, venture capitalists and regulators. Banks and regulators are now hard-pressed to revisit their operating models and policies, they now need to create a conducive environment of collaboration and dynamism for this burgeoning fintech ecosystem.

This along with the demonetization drive announced by the government recently will accelerate the inherent growth rates of this industry.

The recent announcement by our Prime Minister about the demonetization of Rs. 500 and 1000 notes has sent shock waves and left experts speculating, as India is set to sail through this transition, the monumental change seems to be scarred by the hardships that people are facing due to cash crisis.

How can these troubles and hassles be eased out? The first thing that immediately comes to mind is net banking, using digital wallets, and using credit/debit cards etc to make payments cashless.

Keeping these developments in mind let's look at some of the new trends emerging globally in the fin tech environment,

Smartphone adoption will demand more truly mobile-first services

With penetration at 80% of the population, 2017 will see a shift towards delivering a greater range of mobile-first services to all customers.

Video and social media will dominate how corporate content is created

Almost four times as many consumers claim to prefer video content over text when it comes to social media messaging. Marketers are picking up on the trend as well, with 69% saying their budget on video content is "increasing' or "significantly increasing.' Despite this, over 70% of companies are still not collecting data from social media channels. This gap between "social' and "anti-social' is expected to close in 2017 given that 47% of marketers say that social channels offer the greatest opportunities in the immediate future.

Trust will remain a dominant theme

Our trust in financial services, particularly the biggest brands, has been seriously eroded. If 2015 and 2016 were all about winning back the perception of trustworthiness and halting the decline in corporate reputations, 2017 will be about the much harder job of trying to build real trust and close the gap between rhetoric and reality.

Alpha-Chasing Robos

While well-known consumer-focused robo-advisors have primarily focused on offering simple, passive investment automation solutions, new Financial Advisor focused robos are now enabling greater levels of granularity.

These robos enable FAs to directly integrate their wirehouse investment committees, enabling automated execution of their proprietary investment theses. This can bring a three-week process of bringing organization insight into clients' portfolios down to less than three minutes. These white-label robos also enable clients to feed their own ideas into the investment process, creating a new kind of partnership between FAs and their clients—sometimes in real time.

Automation on Mobile

Portfolio allocation, risk management, customer care, marketing communication, offers and promotions, mortgage origination, bill payments, student loans management—name any friction-filled financial services process, and there's an app automating the experience. Entrepreneurs are automating complex, underlying experiences—and making it a delightful experience customers can tap into on their smart phones.

Nikhil Kamath

Co-Founder & Director, Zerodha

Nikhil, who runs an online discount brokerage platform, has also invested in a number of startups. 


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