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New Age Emerging Technology Trends That Is Disrupting the Conventional Processes and Enabling Financial Inclusion in India Technology is now being harnessed to serve the unmet needs of India's hinterland, whose aspirations have hitherto remained ignored and unaddressed

By HP Singh

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The technological changes and pathbreaking innovation in the last decade have been unheralded. The world has been witnessing major disruptions at a breakneck pace. Also, the gap between sweeping changes has been considerably reduced showing the dynamic nature of innovators. No industry has been untouched by these technological upheavals.

State of the art technology and an ability to rapidly adapt have become a key distinction for surviving and exceling in this ever-evolving competitive market. Companies are now developing and utilizing new technologies to move aggressively and strategically to disrupt rather than be disrupted. The landscape of banking is no different. Greater emphasis is being laid on leveraging sophisticated technology to improve productivity and reach.

Reaching out is no longer merely about growing presence across India. It is also about extending one's reach to the vast number of financially excluded households in the real Bharat. Technology is now being harnessed to serve the unmet needs of India's hinterland, whose aspirations have hitherto remained ignored and unaddressed. It is about that differential which makes businesses build a difference across every facet of the value chain. Which, in turn, helps in making a difference in the lives of those excluded masses, while creating an ecosystem of value-led growth.

The combination of IT and mobile technology combined with IT enabled services has emerged as a viable solution for financial inclusion. It minimizes the need for a physical branch. Here are a few instances where technology-based innovation proposition has completely transformed the conventional process and enabled financial inclusion.

Data Analytics:

Technology and digitization have emerged as powerful drivers for transforming business processes, enabling internal/external stakeholders with insightful information at the right time in order to make informed decisions, creating competitive advantages and elevating consumer experience. It helps to understand the evolving demands and expectations of the customer. With last-mile connectivity set up to reach many clients, it is rapidly evolving into a strong channel to attain financial inclusion. Considering the number of clients served, it is a hub for substantial granular data enriched with customer information such as age, gender, occupation and income to name a few. The data reveals key details on the customer behavioral pattern needed to derive critical credit decisions, saving time on verification, reference checks and validation by on ground personnel. Big data helps in facilitating loan approval, request processing and disbursement of loan.

IT enabled Kiosk:

IT enabled kiosks are a common form of self-operated IT enabled centers delivering all forms of banking services to the rural customers. It is set up in areas where there is a potential for increase in the transactions of existing customers and conversion in the rate of new customers.

Application based financial services:

Mobile technology can reach out to the unbanked population in remote areas. The future of lending lies in leveraging innovative new technologies that preclude human intervention. Apps these days come with a clean, simple user interface; a design to deliver an excellent user experience and intuitive navigation. A robust and secure application can make various checks, such as ability to pay, intention to pay and fraud prevention, seamlessly and objectively, with no human involvement. These checks include verification of KYC documents on real-time basis, use of artificial intelligence for face detection, and optical character reading for helping the clients in KYC autofill, in addition to a psychometric test to assess the client intention to pay back. The platform checks bank e-statement of the client on real-time basis. It can also use UPI as the medium to collect EMIs and login fee. Transactions can be conducted without the help of an intermediary.

Unified Payments Interface:

India has witnessed a rise in fintech adoption over the past few years with UPI growing by leaps and bounds. UPI – a real-time unified payment interface developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that facilitates inter-bank transactions has made digital transactions easy and instantaneous. It helps users to transfer, receive, and save money on payments bank platforms, which are simplified banks designed to reach customers via mobile phones using a virtual ID. With demonetization setting the tone, India has embraced the digital wave exponentially. Google Pay, BHIM, Paytm, Phone pe are ruling the market with their on the go fast and reliable services. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Indian digital transaction ecosystem will result in more convenience and security, ensuring real-time fraud prevention. The BFSI landscape has witnessed a record-breaking number of digital transactions as financial institutions and consumers both embrace the ease of digital payments.

Smart Cards and POS:

Biometrically authenticated smart card solutions for the rural and underprivileged population brings banking to their doorstep. It is fully secured and authenticated only by fingerprints which is unique to a person and allows carrying out transactions even in areas having no telecom or internet connectivity. Specially designed handheld devices can work even in offline mode. It can be provided to the beneficiary on the spot. The database is stored in a secure environment which is properly encrypted.

The above are just a few among many examples where technology has completely transformed and made a difference. A difference that is redefining the way India looks at the financial needs of the millions whose lives are inexorably linked with the future of the nation. The new age wave is enabling possibilities way beyond the normal imagination and the future certainly appears exciting for the industry!

HP Singh

Chairman & MD, Satin Creditcare Network Limited

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