This payments facilitator is securing transactions and simplifying operational complexities
Founded in 2004, In-Solutions Global Ltd (ISG) aims to simplify payments and transactions in a secure environment that covers digitisation services such as domain, technology, security, risk, processes, and people.
Today, the fintech service provider is a trendsetter in the payment card industry. It operates across Africa, the Middle East, India, and Australia and processes over 17 billion transactions annually through its GENIUS and ISGPay platforms.
Speaking at The Success Edition, an initiative by Kotak Mahindra Bank and YourStory, Adelia Castelino, Co-founder and Managing Director, ISG said, “We aim to constantly innovate in the payment and digital space. We give merchants, consumers, banks, regulators and the government the comfort of knowing that their transactions are being managed with compliance, governance, and transparency.”
The company’s name mirrors its vision. ‘In’ means India, innovations, and setting new trends. ‘Solutions’ reflects the team’s desire to find solutions, and ‘Global’ points to their intention to reach more people and solve problems on a global scale. Speaking of the company’s vision, Adelia added, “In-Solutions Global stands for solving problems in the digital payment space and making sure that you become a trusted payments partner.”
Nurturing dreams into reality
“When I was in the ninth standard, I used to spend most of my time in the school library hunting for options that would take care of both my education and my entrepreneurial aspirations. This is where I came across the details about the Institute of Company Secretaries of India,” recalled Adelia on how she always wanted to become an entrepreneur.
She realised that she had chanced upon an institution that would become the foundation on which she could build her own enterprise. After graduating from the institute, Adelia secured a job as a secretarial assistant in a reputed organisation. Over the years, with perseverance and tenacity, she rose to the position of the company secretary and financial controller. The move enlightened her about various real-time problems. “I was able to apply my knowledge in solving those problems, and that gave me a passion for acquiring businesses. The entire journey during this phase has been about solving the problems of the industry, gaining experience in the process, and setting up my own organisation,” said Adelia.
Adelia credits the success of the company to their intellectual property or IP – their PaaS (Payments-as-a-Service) under ISG’s brand Genius. ISG aimed to create a global PaaS and a compliance platform - one that could be scaled up using the latest global technologies with seamless delivery.
Another critical success factor is the talent in the organisation. “We build platforms that convert experiences into solutions. So, when we say ‘technology,’ we mean security infrastructure, the user experience, and problem-solving expertise - all of which are of paramount importance. In our experience, the problems in the payment space or in the digital world are practically the same, be it the domestic market or the international market. So, once we gained experience in solving the problem, we were able to showcase the capabilities of our platform and services in these markets. This, in turn, built an equal amount of trust and confidence in our platform,” she explained.
Trust remains key
While ISG has grown from strength to strength, Kotak Mahindra Bank has been a strong support system since its initial days. “Kotak Mahindra Bank has always been flexible in its approach and attitude. Our experience has been excellent, and the journey of ISG would not have been so seamless without the bank’s backing,” said Adelia.
Alongside partners like Kotak, Adelia believes that trust from customers is equally essential. “A key lesson I've learned in this journey is that we are trustworthy partners in business, it comes from experience,” she revealed. “Companies must be transparent, admit to the mistakes they commit and strive to improve their service by solving customer challenges. But they must not lose the trust of their customers in the process.”
Another principle Adelia believes in is to never arm-twist customers. “It is essential to be aligned with the government’s objectives because the fintech industry deals with money - more specifically, other people's money,” she noted. “While you take care of the compliances during their difficult times, never arm-twist your customers, your employees, or your partners, no matter how difficult the situation is. Business gains can be prioritised in due course, but it is only the difficult times that present an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers, based on mutual trust,” she added.
Sharing examples of these lessons, Adelia recalled how they gained a lot of new customers – referred to them by their old ones – during the pandemic recently, and the demonetisation period before that.
The way forward
ISG recently converted its platform into a compliance-embedded-in-a-transaction kind of platform, called the Genius Global Platform as a Service (PaaS). Adelia revealed that the platform is poised to help customers onboard themselves in different regions, create the right kind of user experience, take care of data privacy and data-localisation regulations, and also enable consumer choices and payments.
Adelia also noted that this platform is equipped to be cloud-compliant. “We have received tremendous demand from banks in the local as well as the international market to adopt cloud technology for their services. Merchants and consumers are all accepting digital transactions today. We are also looking at Web 3.0, digital currency, AI, blockchain, and other emerging technologies to make them a part of our platform. We have started that journey already, and in addition to that, the ISG GENIUS platform intends to expand into the merchant and consumer services territory to simplify the onboarding journey and make sure that the new standards are adopted seamlessly,” she signed off.