Like any other disruptors from the Silicon Valley, the Fintech revolution has begun. Though the term was initially used to describe the technology applied to the back end of established consumer and trade financial institutions, today, Fintech encompasses any technological innovation in the finance sector. The Fintech firms are mushrooming in different places and they are fast growing. There is no doubt that the Fintech revolution will reshape the finance sector into a much better space. Firstly, the Fintech disruptors will cut costs and improve the quality of financial services. The latest innovations by Fintech prove that they have a much better and cleverer ways of facing risks. The newcomers are here with an aim to create more diverse and hence a more stable credit landscape.
India’s Demonetization Move
The announcements that hit the TV screens at 10.15 P.M. on November 8, 2016, caught all of us off guard. The demonetisation move that made all the existing 500 and 1000 rupee notes invalid came as such a sudden and unexpected news that many people found it difficult to engage in any financial transactions. In a country like India which depends on physical cash more than any other country in the world, suddenly removing 86% of notes without an adequate supply of new notes left people berserk and a number of businesses did not have ways to accept or transfer cash. Though introduced as an attempt to eradicate black money, the demonetisation policy led to a greater realisation.
The Actual Goal-The Paperless Revolution
The surprise demonetisation did something big. It pushed millions of users to the country’s digital economy grid. However, if India was ready for this revolution is an entirely different league. Today, India is amidst all these modernisation tips and numerous companies, start-ups and businesses are on the subsequent drive towards developing a cashless or rather a paperless economy. Nonetheless, how successful the move can be is a subject of concern as it depends on a diverse array of fields and factors, especially when it involves a country like India.
The Fintech Landscape
Though Fintech is never a replacement for any of the traditional banking services, it is the result of inevitable evolution and interference of technology in the banking sector. Today banking services are provided in a much convenient way. The sector does this with the help of technology intelligence, machine learning and big data. Fintech is completely reinventing the finance industry and the way companies and common men have access to finance. With an aim to go cashless or paperless, the Fintech revolution is already on the boom with services like the ones listed below.
- Digital Lending: Numerous online shopping sites like Flipkart and Amazon are offering products on Equated Monthly Instalments or EMIs. This lets you buy products and goods even if you are broke. The Fintech players are already making inroads into these organised transactions and have succeeded in their attempt. These companies provide flexible options for SME financing to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) that are almost always overlooked by banks. Some of the major enterprises in this field include Capital Float, Lending kart, Indifi, NeoGrowth and the like.
- Payment Services: The revolutionary payment services of Fintech do not even require a payer to swipe his debit or credit card or doesn’t even need to know the account details. All that is needed is a smartphone. Payments are made online without the need of even the merchant account. The well-known players in this evolving field of Fintech are companies like PayTM, Mobikwik, and Freecharge.
- POS: The players in this sector have hiked up post the controversial demonetisation issue. The primary service of the companies in this area is to provide machines that enable card swipe and the subsequent transfer of money. POS or Point Of Sale as the name suggests is the easiest way to go cashless. Leading players in this sector include companies like Mswipe, Pine labs, and ICICI Merchant services.
This revolution in the finance sector will not only help millions to overcome the hustle and bustle of handling cash, but it is also a baby step towards making India emerge as a cashless economy.