The Demand Now Is In-Organic But Growth Will Accelerate Dramatically: Experts
The Global Innovation Leadership Series, organized by BW Businessworld, Whub & AngelHub held the second webinar of Global Fintech Industry to discuss and ponder on pertinent topics; FinTech trends in Asia’s most developed Financial Markets and understand which technologies will make a difference and potentially even push traditional players and incumbents into silos.
Consumer Behavior shift, long term sustainability, current fintech trends, regulations & challenges, funding scenarios, and strategies for the New Normal were the major areas to talk on and the eminent panel comprised of national and global level FinTech players of the industry like; Karen Contet, Founder CEO AngelHub.io, Sarabvir Singh, CEO, Policybazar.com, Shachindra Nath, Executive Chairman & MD, U GRO Capital Ltd, Sanjeev Shriya, Founder Owner, Smart Chip, Mithun Sundar, CEO, LendingKart, and Abhinav Sinha, Co-Founder & COO, EKO India Financial Services.
Urban-Rural Tech Divide
Starting the discussion and keeping it relevant to the current situation; Sanjeev Shriya mentioned ‘FinTech as large’ in terms of the geographical diversity of India and the products and services that demand FinTech support. He also commented on the two-part divide in India; one is a tech-savvy urban population and the other is the rural population who need hand-holding.
Being very candid Shachindra Nath spoke about his own perspective on the FinTech World, he said, “For me; FinTech is the method of doing a particular business.”
Panelist clearly and firmly mentioned that technology is the enabler to bridge the gap between the people of remote areas and people living in metro cities. Even in the post-COVID scenario; the demand for technology in every sector would rise, specifically for FinTech.
Abhinav Sinha adding on to the Urban-Rural divide mentioned his observation and said FinTech has reduced the gap. Sharing some numbers he mentioned that in April; Urban 90% below par pre-COVID and finished at 65% below par pre-COVID levels and Rural was 300% above pre-COVID levels. “The demand is not very inorganic at the moment but it has to increase the consumption in the rural markets”, he added.
Contemporary Scenario for FinTech Players
Sarabvir Singh spoke of a contemporary scenario where everybody is locked at their homes, he mentioned this is an “attractive time for consumers who are seeking to buy policies sitting back in the comfort of their homes.” As one of the biggest players in the specific sector of insurance distribution, Singh shared the relevant achievements of policybazaar.com in figures saying on average we do 7-8 lack policies in a month and giving us a glimpse he mentioned last year we did over 6 million policies in the year.
Giving a global perspective Karen Contet said, “We see a pickup in Fintech adoption also in the APAC region and a rise of usage from 30% to 60%.” Making the perspective more relevant she emphasized the importance of online banking portals, e-signing documents, access to transactions, creating a new bank account in less than 5 minutes on portals, during this lockdown, and physical distancing norm.
Mithun explained about Lendingkart's operations’ and said, “We only lend to MSME in the country and have not dispersed in the last 65 days since 25th March and it is not because of lack of demand.”
Demand is just inorganic but it is there because people and businesses need money at this moment for revival, paying salaries and not for growth.”
Throwing some light on public role Shachindra Nath said, “Government in creating the framework for adoption of technology has been superior from the private players, a massive amount of data aggregation and technology will come in play in the near future.”
The key is to look for how these large providers of capital work in partnership with the FinTech companies and would come closer”, he adds.
Sanjeev Shriya spoke about the future as ‘surprising and uncertain’. He mentioned foreseeing major Technological developments; smartphones getting smarter, AI would be more accessible. Regarding the future, he said, “Lender of the lenders will become more comfortable and less averse to lending and premiumization will be the reality soon".
He added that in future FinTech; ecosystem play will accelerate dramatically but not certain about consumer behavior because of volatility and uncertain situations.
Optimistically Karen Contet added, “The demand will go up for switching the accounts to digital forums” and FinTech is an enabler while working remotely, even reluctant people are also using and testing it.
Concluding on positive note panelists acknowledged the rise in demand of FinTech players, the transition of consumers from a traditional setting to digital portals, and growth acceleration in the future for the sector.
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