[TechSparks 2020] The future of fintech lies in identifying opportunities for growth

At TechSparks 2020, the co-founders of Mswipe, Slice, Niyo Solutions, and Groww deliberated and discussed the future of fintech in a country that has one of the youngest populations in the world, and the need for pro-startup and business regulations.

Ten years ago, cash was king in India but seemed to be giving up the crown to cards. Since then, multiple takers have emerged and the payment modes in use across the country include UPI, QR codes, cards, and online payments

India is now amongst the fastest growing fintech markets in the world, ranking on top of the chain when it comes to the fintech adoption rate. Multiple reports suggest that the digital payments value is expected to grow at a CAGRfundsof 20 percent for the next few years – jumping from approximately $65 billion in 2019 to $140 billion in 2023

At TechSparks 2020, YourStory’s flagship event, the co-founders of top fintech startups - Manish Patel of Mswipe, Vinay Bagri of NIYO SOLUTIONS, Rajan Bajaj of Slice, and Lalit Kishore of Groww – deliberated on the future of fintech and the need for supportive regulation

Mswipe, which works with close to a million merchants, believes that the kirana segment and small businesses will move towards digital transformation faster than ever. 

Manish, the Co-founder of mobile POS merchant acquirer and network provider Mswipe, said most brick-and-mortar stores struggled at the onset of the lockdown, but many – kiranas, pharmacies, and small clinics - were operational. 

The future of fintech seems secure in India because of the number of SMBs and a young population.

“Amidst the unlock phase, transactions are increasing in Tier II and III towns. A large section of the merchants that we serve are back and using digital rapidly. The modern POS terminal runs on Android and merchants can use it for a lot more than just payments,” he said. 

He added that there were a range of applications that could be used to improve their business

Discussing the fact that there were attempts to regulate payment aggregators, he added that this had “given us a seat at the table to discuss issues such as the need for a KYC when you are a payment aggregator”.

Digital revolution in banking

Even as merchants prosper by adopting fintech, banking flourishes because businesses are repaying their credit lines on time and borrowing more

The future of banking is changing as digital takes precedence. Niyo Solutions, a fintech company that helps salaried employees access company benefits and other financial services, partners with banks to provide banking customer service on mobile.

“During the first three months of COVID-19,  manufacturing and other industries took a hit and salaries across the board came down. Now,  manufacturing has resumed and travel has just about started. The opportunity for us is to work with blue collar workers and students, a segment looking for banking services such as debit cards,” said Vinay, the Co-founder of Niyo Solutions. 

He added that regulations had to be supportive for financial products to succeed - and they were in India. “We have seen experiments. The Indian payment bank licences did not succeed; small bank licences did well.”

“Regulations helped us work with RuPay, which enabled us to give cards to blue collar workers whose salaries are less than Rs 10,000,” he added. 

Niyo is now waiting for digital banking licences to make a difference. 

Focusing on millennials

Much like blue collar workers, millennials also represent a big business opportunity. The World Bank pegs India's median age at 27, which means the country has a very young population. 

Slice, a pay-later app that comes with a Visa card and that converts payments to EMIs, believes India is a very big opportunity for financial inclusion. 

Rajan Bajaj, Co-founder of Slice, said millennials used Slice to simplify their payments and the segment they were targeting was still “underserved by banks”. 

“They want their financial experience to be best in class so we have one of the best-designed mobile experiences and customer centricity around pricing. Most of our users are still male because of the sheer number of young men in the workforce. For a product that gives credit, your underlying assessment is based on how will you pay back. Women need credit and they need to be assessed differently if they participate in future financial products,” he said. 

This can lead to an increase in investments in mutual funds and other avenues. 

Groww, which makes investing simple, believes that a section of the population has more to save due to COVID-19 and can invest in new savings products.

Lalit Kishore, Founder of Groww, said more people were saving now and spending more time on their smart phones. The investment environment in the country had improved. 

“Regulation in India is very pro-customer and pro-investor. From 2013, direct investing has gone up. Two things I could think to improve the climate: LTCG must be made zero and we should continue simplifying investing. This is really needed in the digital era,” Lalit said. 

For more information on TechSparks 2020, check out our TechSparks 2020 website.

TechSparks - YourStory Mediaannual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai