By Abhishek Kothari
FinTech in India has been growing at a significant pace for the last four years as a result of the increasing focus from RBI, government policies, advancing technology and affordable smartphones and data. People have also become more receptive towards digitisation and tax automation. This is owing mainly to the demonetisation of 2016 and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017. In fact, implementation of GST alone has led to dedicated startups and new business verticals from established brands to help small, medium and large businesses with their taxes. The trends shaping fintech startups in 2020 involve a highly aware customer base and further innovations in data science and data engineering.
Trend 1: India is rapidly moving towards a mobile-first approach for accessing financial services, and they prefer vernacular platforms.
With WhatsApp reporting a reach of 400 million users and thousands of hours of content being created by OTT platforms, Indian consumers are online on their smartphones. YouTube in India has over 1,200 channels with one million subscribers, and this number was only 14 in 2014. This provides an unparalleled opportunity for tech companies to build digital journeys and solutions to disrupt almost everything that we know today. Financial services, transportation, logistics, shopping, telecom, healthcare, education are all going to see newer players challenging the status quo. There is nothing called digital strategy now, it's just strategy to survive in a Digital India!
Fintech also is witnessing the same behavioural shift where 95%-plus users apply for a loan using a mobile device while this number was less than 30% three years ago. We have seen a 2X conversion on our vernacular pages compared to English landing pages.
Trend 2: Data science and engineering are delivering substantial cost efficiencies and better decisions with cutting-edge applications of Computer Vision, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Pattern Recognition.
Fintech is growing at an exponential pace in India with high applications of data science in aspects like lending, insurance, broking and wealth management. Several lending companies have used image, text, and voice as input data sources to provide accurate decisions and better experiences than their banking counterparts in the last couple of years in India. OCR was meant to read the text inside images and transform that into digital text data. Now, there is an integration of OCR in our daily lives-from scanning documents and credit cards to data entry. The traditional, time-consuming paper-based work has been replaced with an optimised way of collecting the same data. With the enhanced ease in collecting data, data scientists can start their analysis journey quicker. Data science and data engineering are working more closely than ever with T-shaped data scientists becoming popular by the day.
Being one of the youngest nations in the world, a considerably large section of the Indian population is significantly more receptive and adaptive. The result is tech-savvy zealous entrepreneurs pushing the Indian fintech industry towards potential earnings of $ 2.4 billion by 2020.
The writer is co-founder, FlexiLoans.com