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Fintechs shakeup the market

Technology heads of banks and financial services institutions as well as companies that provide technology to the BFSI sector share their perspectives on disruptions in the sector at the Technoviti Conference 2018

Sachin Seth, Partner – Financial Advisory, Digital, Fintech & Innovation Leader, Ernst & Young

Sachin Seth

Disruption is not coming, it is already here, and it will stay. According to the new banking technology rules, one cannot use single OTP to sign more than one document. It was not earlier. This will change the business model and customer experience for all of us.

SEBI has released a consultative paper recently, which says that banks and financial institutions that are advisors cannot do selling. Those banks that are big mutual fund distributors and acting as advisors, now cannot do both. So, the technology and ecosystem must be designed in such a way as to be agile to handle such disruptions.

Now we have many NBFCs in the market and most NBFCs command a better premium than banks. This is because they are more customer focused and they are more flexible. Many of the new banks are using NBFCs as the last leg to expand their market. So, leveraging this, there is scope for exponential growth as compared to linear growth.

There are eCommerce players, healthcare companies and holiday companies, which were customers of banks. They can do underwriting based on the data they have. So, some of the current business of financial firms will come under threat. In the budget 2018 there are several measures that are offering benefits to the MSME sector.


Sameer Jaini, Digital Strategist, CEO – The Digital Fifth

Sameer Jaini

Fintechs are not only impacting banks, they are also affecting big technology companies like Wipro, TCS, etc, which traditionally offer big solutions. Their deal sizes are in millions, compared to a few lakhs of the fintechs. Even consultancy business is changing. The large providers typically go with a T&M model. Today, the sales guy cannot come as a coordinator, he must come with appropriate domain knowledge.

Banks themselves are changing direction. Earlier, they would do total outsourcing. Now they are hiring good technology guys to do inhouse development. Earlier, LMS was typically taken from a solutions provider. Now, many banks are building from scratch, as what is available is so generic that it does not give a long term competitive advantage. More and more things that are customer facing are getting insourced.


Prasanna Lohar, Head – Innovation, DCB Bank

Prasanna Lohar

The big tech companies have not thought of agility and new services around core applications. They are already late as fintechs are servicing things around the core. For example, Accenture is setting up a fintech lab. Collaboration will drive the success for fintechs.

Innovation Index of India is not growing in a big way. The parameters are how big organizations are innovating. So, India needs a structured way to adopt fintech, such as sandboxes. There are small countries like Singapore and Israel, which have gone a long way is making use of sandboxes. Microsoft has really changed its ways. It is working as if it is in a startup mode.

New banks have opportunity to bring in new technologies. Maybe, even core banking will come from a fintech. Banks are now recruiting ethical hackers, blockchain experts, UI/UX experts, etc, to bring in more innovation. Technologies like big data, IoT, AI, etc, are being adopted. When it comes to adopting fintech, we have done some hackathons. In India, we see lots of copycat solutions. We are suggesting the creation of a use case repository to empower fintechs, so that they do not need continuous explaining. This will enable vertical innovation as opposed to horizontal innovation.



Jagdish Narayanan, CTO, Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank

Jagdish Narayanan

Jagdish Narayanan

 As a startup bank, we must see how to leverage the fintechs around us, as well as have the core backbone in shape. The backbone of CBS and regulatory and reporting solutions is hygiene and it should be left alone alone as far as possible. It must also be insisted that digital innovation should be done with API connections, making them lot more amenable to adopting newer technologies.




Kunal Patel, FinTech Speaker/Business Advisor and Mentor

Kunal Patel

Kunal Patel

Big companies and consultancies are today trying to play catch up. Banks are working with fintechs, but that was not the case earlier. They tend to invite some of their startups to their internal meetings as well. If someone in a big company tells you that they are working like a startup, that is not the case. The required cultural shift will happen slowly.

Big technology companies and startups must co-exist and be in sync. Many large IT companies today do not know what they are doing and how to remain relevant. These technology companies are still detached from their end users. Startups have a different mentality and are focused on the customers.


Akhil Handa, Head – Fintech & New Business Initiatives, Bank of Baroda

Akhil Handa

We are fortunate to talk to both the big technology companies and the fintech startups. We have a problem in maintaining relationship with a big technology company. It relates to DNA on both sides. Banks need big technology companies to evolve. The large companies are making a roadmap for their future. Now who is drawing the maximum benefit is the fintechs, as they can go to both banks and big technology companies, in selling products or being acquired. A sale is largely made on putting together the requisite team. When we look at any proposition, we have 2 questions – is there any implicit call to a big company or can we do it internally? It is a great time to be a fintech. The strategy of large companies is to co-opt innovation and then take it to their clients. Many large technology companies today were fintechs 10 years ago.


Venkatesh Hariharan, Director – Fintech, iSPIRIT

Venkatesh Hariharan

Venkatesh Hariharan

When we talk about competition and collaboration with fintech ecosystems, I believe every industry is becoming a platform. Banking is, however, not in this frame because it is highly regulated. One of the big challenges is that banks are still looking at it as vendor management. If they look beyond, the scale will accelerate very fast. That is where commercial partnerships need to come up. Recently, the prime minister of the Philippines said his government wants to adopt Aadhaar. Many other countries are interested in leveraging solutions developed in India. With GST, millions of bills are coming online. That makes bill discounting a huge possibility. We see several digital lenders coming up.


Sudin Baraokar, Innovation Advisor, State Bank of India

The idea of building a bank chain alliance for blockchain was to move beyond our ecosystem. India must become not just the digital leader but also the technology leader. Only then we will have startups and fintechs thinking big. It is time for fintechs to think big and make use of the sandboxes. Instead of SBI buying the products and services, we can subscribe to and consume those services, and go ahead. Gartner predicts that by 2030, all banking services today will cease to exist.



Pankaj Pandey, CTO, IDBI Federal Life Insurance

Pankaj Pandey

Fintech companies must play a major role. We are still behind the west in fintech adoption. I see crucial role for the government and the regulator in this. The government is pushing for insurance penetration.






Neeraj Amin, Director – Key Account Relationship, Perfios

Niraj Amin

Niraj Amin

The biggest challenge is knowing what a customer needs. We are glad to enable customers to walk into a bank without a single piece of paper in their hand and apply for a loan. We can work in collaboration with banks to understand their pain areas and create a solution to leapfrog over where we are.

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