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MMM becoming a Data First Company

MyMoneyMantra is building robust technology infrastructure constituting AI, Data Analytics and Machine Learning to ensure a seamless customer experience:

MyMoneyMantra (MMM) is a finserve marketplace, helping customers compare products across 100+ financial institutions and opt for the most suited one. Over the last 5 years, it has originated more than $5 billion worth of financial services products through its platform. It currently serves about 7 million customers across 60 cities with more than 100+ banking partners and 3000 employees. Raj Khosla, Founder & MD, traces the digital journey.

Mehul Dani: How has MyMoneyMantra implemented its digital strategy in 2020-21?

Raj Khosla: Digital has opened up new avenues for creating competitive advantage and driving business growth for MyMoneyMantra. We have tied digital to our strong delivery and distribution platform to give us an edge over competitors. Recently, our website has been revamped with new design and functionalities keeping customer transactional convenience as the main objective. Our digital infrastructure has expanded our geographic and demographic distribution multi-fold.

We have always maintained that our digital strategy needs to be a means to an end, not the end itself. Engagement with our customers, needs to be met on their terms – entirely digital, on the phone or somewhere in between. By staying true to our north star, the business grew 2x yoy and we are tracking to originate $2.6 billion of credit this year.

We are in the business of connecting consumers with the best financial institution for their needs, at any given point (speed). We define best as the highest probability of the loan / credit card being sanctioned with the most favorable terms for the consumer. It also means ensuring we are not wasting our financial partners’ time. For example, if a certain financial partner will not underwrite a self-employed individual with a credit score below 650, there is no point in wasting either the financial partner’s time or that of the customer.

Our marketplace aims to be malleable, ensuring we can successfully get transactions done and create long lasting relationships with both sides of the marketplace.

Please tell us how new tech initiatives have contributed to increasing business and customer base in 2020-21 post covid?

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There is no question that this crisis has accelerated the pace of digitization in the credit origination space. We have been working tirelessly with our financial partners to digitize every part of the loan process. We were lucky to have started on our digital journey pre-covid. Fruits of our labor are now present in our numbers. The tech adoption has led to exponential versus linear growth.
i. APIs: Our API network is now one of the strongest in the country with 65 APIs with leading financial partners and credit bureaus – ensuring real time decision-making capabilities.
ii. Data Lake: It was commissioned pre-covid, and is hosted on AWS and with a 40 million+ consumer base.
iii. Recommendation Engine: Given the volume of credit origination done through the MyMoneyMantra platform, our recommendation engine gets smarter with every transaction with a real-time feedback loop. This ensures we can continue to provide the most favorable terms to our customers based on their specific needs.
iv. Our CRM, B2B and Analytics platform are all cloud hosted and empower our business across geographies.

All the above tech initiatives ensured that our sales and operations teams could work non-stop through the pandemic. We are one of the largest credit originators in India with $870 million of credit originated in FY 19. We have been profitable since our inception and it is clocking 25-30% CAGR.

What are the usage patterns of the digital footprint – mobile app and WhatsApp for marketing, customer serving?

We are seeing greater engagement from our customers on digital channels – digital logins and WhatsApp. Almost every credit product originated on our platform has some form of digital component, and our job is to ensure customers feel comfortable engaging with us and trusting us to get the best possible deal on their behalf.

Our website and CRM are integrated with all our partners and a customer application can seamlessly flow into a bank’s CRM in a secure manner. This functionality is also offered down the supply chain to our partner network for reaching out to our customers ever more efficiently and safely.

We employ all channels that we have developed and integrated to make the customer journey more convenient and to make financial services more accessible. SMS, WhatsApp and emails are leveraged for delivering product information, document verification and transaction confirmations.

How have you brought agents, BCs, etc into the fold of your digital strategy?

We serve as a platform for literally thousands of brokers. During the pandemic, we saw a 10x increase on our broker channel. We have proven to our partners that scale matters. The ability to have instant connectivity with over 100 financial partners across the credit spectrum increases their ability to serve the customer which they on their own find very challenging. This has also strengthened our conversion capabilities in tier 3 and 4 centers – creating a truly national credit origination marketplace.

Please describe the technologies that are in use. Who are the key vendors and what are their services?

We have used an agency to successfully transfer our data lake onto the cloud using AWS. Additionally, we strengthened our technology infrastructure across the board – data analytics, digital marketing, etc. We are leveraging new age technologies like headless CMS for content, React JS & Node JS for user experience, microservices based backend architecture/ MongoDB and Oracle for Database, AWS services for data engineering and PowerBI amongst others.

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Our data analytics-backed business acquisition is growing at 20%. Our Data Lake initiative helped us overcome covid and build robust technology infrastructures like AI, ML and Data Analytics to ensure a seamless customer experience. To expand scope of operations, we acquired 2 financial marketplaces – Bengaluru-based Ascon and Hyderabad-based Shaster.
To ramp up our digital journey, we raised Rs1.04 billion ($15 million) funding from Netherlands-based IFSD BV and Vaalon Capital. Since our $15 million capital raising in May 2019, we have been investing in our digital value proposition.

How is technology put to use for CRM? How strong is your company’s presence on social media?

It is important to have a presence on social media, but it is worth noting that people don’t go on Instagram looking for financial advice – they are looking to engage with their friends. Our job is to be top of mind when someone needs help with their financial goals. We think it is more important to create a brand around financial product expertise – we have built a brand around financial literacy. Over the last 2 years, we had media presence every other business day.

In terms of CRM, we have built a proprietary tool, which is hosted in the cloud and is extremely customer centric. We are focused on making sure the customer engagement is seamless throughout the loan process and more importantly post loan sanction. Customers come back to us because they are confident, they will get the best deal and we will do all the heavy lifting on their behalf – it’s really that simple.

What is the evolution of data science and of products in the last 2-3 years?

While we have had access to a large amount of data, the same was challenged by the fact that it was being generated from different sources and hence was stuck in silos and in incongruous formats. Early on in our journey we decided to migrate our data into a standardized Data Lake. We have over time become a data first company, where every decision taken is now backed by rigorous data analytics.

Mortgage lending has its set of challenges; however, we have been working with a handful of financial partners to develop a digital mortgage product. The product is in beta phase, initial uptake has been extremely positive. We have had to be creative with appraisals and wet signatures in the current covid environment.

In the post covid-scenario, what are your targets and plans for IT, digital initiatives, for tech-led business growth in the current FY?

There is no secret sauce here. We want to stay focused on our core competency – connecting borrowers with lenders at the highest success rate possible. The Indian retail credit market is expected to touch $1.3 trillion in the next 3 years – that’s roughly 2x growth. We think it will be larger than this projection, as the need for credit in a post pandemic digitized world will be even greater.

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We have recently revamped our technology stack and the design of our online marketplace with the latest incorporations from the world of performance design. We are in the process of further modifying our rule engine to be able to offer the same to our associates and partners as well. Soon we are launching a savvier consumer app to provide personalized offers and ease of transaction for our customers.

Given our continued investment in digital origination and data analytics, coupled with the structural tailwinds supporting our business, we plan on a further 2.5x growth this year which would ride on need for credit in a post pandemic digitized world as well as greater adoption of technology by consumers and financial partners. We plan to achieve Rs5.3 billion in top-line by 2023.

Additionally, we want to be a household name when it comes to financial products and our goal is to de-clutter the noise in the market and help consumers make informed financial decisions.

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