MoneyTap, India’s first App-Based Credit Line has now crossed the milestone of 1 million user installs. With an aim to serve the lower-middle income group, MoneyTap has now lowered the annual interest rate to 13% [down from 15%].

The company also tripled its growth in the last three months owing to the festive season and is seeing continued momentum in the current wedding season. MoneyTap is also now available to people in Indore, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam. With the addition of these three cities, India’s first credit line is now available in 20 cities in India.

The majority of MoneyTap users have a monthly income of INR 35,000 and are aged between 29~31 years, with the average Credit Line issue size being INR 85,000. Consumers tend to do multiple withdrawals from the Credit Line over a course of time and very few of them tend to withdraw the entire line amount. In-fact, 65% of the users have not used the entire amount at one shot but have used it multiple times over multiple months.

This usage pattern indicates that consumers frequently need small amounts of credit to tide over essential purchases and payments. Consumers also have varied requirements when it comes to cash and card. Not all purchases can be done through cash and not all payments are accepted by card; MoneyTap is currently the only product in the market which offers its consumers the convenience of using both card and cash through the App. Around 60% of transactions on MoneyTap are cash withdrawals and 40% are from card payments.

During 2017, MoneyTap pioneered the concept of a Credit Line for consumers. An unknown concept until now, Credit Line has seen a huge demand from consumers in the lower-middle income group, due to its unique product which combines the usage of cash and card. Consumers are not comfortable going to banks for loans for minimal amounts which could be anywhere from INR 3000 to INR 50,000 or even up to  1 or 2 Lakhs. The needs of consumers vary and could be anything from medical, birth, death, school fees, deposit to take a rent on house, etc. and asking for money from family and friends always has an embarrassment factor. The Credit Line for consumers with accessibility through an app is literally like a friend who gives you money when in need, be it marriage, birth sudden death in family, school fees, hospital bills or sudden cash crunch during the month end.

Every time customers decide to withdraw a certain amount from their pre-approved Credit Line, MoneyTap allows them to choose their own EMIs, which ranges anywhere between 2 to 36 months. It is not pre-fixed and is up to the repaying capacity of the borrower.

MoneyTap is available on Android Playstore and is targeted at salaried individuals and self-employed professionals earning more than INR 20,000 per month. Using the Credit Line, consumers can choose to borrow as little as INR 3000 or as much as INR 5 lakhs or up to their maximum eligibility limit. Customers can decide their own EMI plans with flexible payback periods ranging from 2 months to 3 years.

Interest is paid only on the amount borrowed and rates can be as low as 1.08% per month. If the user does not borrow any amount, then no interest needs to be paid. The credit limit also gets replenished once EMIs are paid back. All financial transactions such as billing and repayment are directly dealt with the respective bank or NBFC through the MoneyTap App using secure APIs, thus ensuring 100% secure transactions.

To keep up with its rapid expansion plans, MoneyTap is increasing its employee count and plans to add 50 new team members in Tech, Data, Product, Marketing & Ops in the next 6 months. MoneyTap also plans to solidify its leadership position by improving credit accessibility for other segments of customers, partnering with 6 other Banks and NBFCs and expanding to 50 cities in India by March 2018. The Bengaluru-based startup recently raised a total of $12.3 million in funding from Sequoia India, NEA & Prime Venture Partners.

Anuj Kacker, Co-founder, MoneyTap, said

We are excited about the possibilities that MoneyTap can bring to thousands of millions of Indians who are facing a cash crunch for regular needs. We help consumers get credit easily and quickly with the power of mobile technology. Middle income customers [salaried & self-employed] making Rs. 20,000 per month or more are not serviced by financial institutions today without putting up collateral such as gold or those who need smaller amounts.

This is the clear unaddressed need. When we spoke to customers, they not only wanted the above needs addressed but also wanted the product to be very flexible and convenient. For the very first time, MoneyTap is bringing the access to credit with a single tap on the mobile phone.

About MoneyTap

MoneyTap is a Bengaluru-based fintech startup, founded by serial entrepreneurs Bala Parthasarathy, Anuj Kacker & Kunal Varma, who are IIT/ISB alumni. Bala has co-founded multiple startups in Silicon Valley including Snapfish (sold to Hewlett Packard), which he helped grow to 100M users and $300M in revenue. After moving to India in 2007, he volunteered for UIDAI under Mr. Nandan Nilekani before starting AngelPrime in 2011 (now Prime Venture Partners) where he helped create companies like ZipDial (sold to Twitter), EZETap, Happay, etc. Kunal (ex Texas Instruments) & Anuj (ex Airtel & JWT) co-founded Tapstart that grew to 300K users and turned profitable in 2 years. MoneyTap works in very close partnerships with various banks and other financial institutions to make the process painless and on-app. For more details, please visit MoneyTap

BankBazaar, India’s leading Personal Finance marketplace, has revamped its mobile app with a host of new improvements. These include gold/silver and fuel rate trackers and personalized graphs for better visualization of expenses in the Personal Finance feature of the Android app. For the first time, a comprehensive number of Personal Finance features have been aggregated on one single interface to provide users a complete view of their finances.

With the new upgrade, the BankBazaar app now allows users to check specific details of their financial transaction history, letting them control their money better. Some of the other useful features include daily gold/silver and fuel rate updates, daily tips on money management and latest news from the world of finance. Moreover, the EMI calculator further simplifies all those complicated loan calculations, making the app a one-stop destination for everything related to personal finance.

Rati Shetty, Chief Product Officer, BankBazaar.com said

Our mission has been to help consumers access the right financial products and make their financial journey simpler. The introduction of Personal Finance feature in the BankBazaar mobile app is another step towards simplifying money management for users and encouraging responsible fiscal behaviour.

With more than 1M downloads, the BankBazaar app is one of the most handy personal finance apps available. The introduction of the provision to check Experian Credit Report on the go makes the app all the more versatile. Not just that, it also lets you track your bank balance and Credit Card dues. When put together, these features provide a holistic view of your finances that can help you:

  • Track better – The fuel trackers help you keep a city-wise watch on the rates, and let you manage and track your fuel spends. The option to view all monthly spends in graphical form will let you manage your money better.
  • Plan better – The Credit Card and EMI trackers keep you updated about your payment deadlines. When you have a clear picture of your balances and the payment deadlines, you can plan your finances better. With regular alerts prompting you to make the payments, you have lesser chance of missing a payment and letting it affect your Credit Score.
  • Save better – With all information available over a highly simplified interface on your mobile phone, you can manage your finances and control your expenses. These will eventually help you save better.

It is now simpler than ever to track all your finances on the go using your phone. Be it your credit, Credit Score, savings or expenses, the BankBazaar app can help you keep a track of every aspect of your finances and get a better handle on your money.

BankBazaar hosts the widest range of financial products from over 50+ of the biggest public and private sector banks, NBFCs, and Mutual Funds players in India. It gets an average of 20 million visitors per month. The company raised USD 110M through funding from investors such as Amazon.com, Experian, Fidelity Growth Partners, Mousse Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Walden International.

Synechron Inc., the global financial services consulting and technology services provider, announced the launch of a set of InsurTech Accelerator solutions. Synechron’s InsurTech Accelerator Program combines Synechron’s expertise with digital innovation, business consulting, and technological capabilities to deliver firms end-to-end solutions to insurance business challenges through transformative digital initiatives and solutions.

Image Source – InsurTech

Synechron has built a suite of InsurTech Accelerators applications, each based on a unique business case, that allow organizations to leverage innovative technologies to enhance business operations, reduce operating costs, and create better client experiences. Synechron’s InsurTech Accelerator applications have taken a business challenge that can be best solved through technology and re-architected business processes to build a solution to those challenges.

The Accelerators focus on business consulting and use techniques like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation [RPA], Mobile Solutions, Digital Strategy/Customer Experience Design, and the Internet of Things [IoT]. This set of Accelerators is Synechron’s third accelerator program in FinLabs to date following the large success of Synechron’s Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Accelerators.

Along with the InsurTech applications, the Accelerator Program offers access to Synechron’s team of consultants who are experts in insurance business processes, products, regulation, operating models, and data architectures and models which are critical to constructing effective insurance applications.

The InsurTech Accelerators broken down by their core underlying technology include:

Blockchain

Synechron’s Blockchain InsurTech Accelerator focuses on two use cases:

  • Insurance Claims Processing, which leverages Blockchain’s Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT], smart contracts and digital capabilities combined with the IoT to assist with asset provenance, reduction of fraud, and a straight-through process around high volume, low-value insurance claims.
  • Trade Finance, bringing banks and corporates like insurance companies together on a single distributed ledger to minimize fraud and increase transparency around the supply chain.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

Synechron’s AI/ML Accelerator for Visual Risk applies machine learning to analyze 70+ data sources and provide predictive risk analytics with detailed visualizations and simple risk queues to equip the underwriter with easy access to critical information, automating up to 80% of applications, leaving just the most complex for manual review. The AI/ML InsurTech Accelerators also include use cases for Intelligent Underwriter Scoring, utilizing historical policy data, real-time policy data, and predictive modeling to help underwriters prioritize based on work-to-reward ratio and Automated Natural Language Processing [NLP] for Account On-boarding.

Robotic Process Automation [RPA]

Synechron’s most functionally rich and advanced InsurTech Accelerator is RPA focused and addresses a wide variety of automated process orchestration with a fully customizable suite of pluggable Insurance components.  From front-end forms capture and OCR thru claims processing our high function accelerator allows disparate systems to be tied together with a light footprint, even working seamlessly with other automation tools.

Mobile Solutions

The InsurTech Accelerators focus on Mobile Solutions to allow insurers to tap into the functionalities built into mobile phones whether it’s geo-location, the camera, or simply the App Store to create 1:1 customer experiences.

Customer Experience Design

In today’s world of advanced digital, Customer Experience is what distinguishes an insurance company from another. The Accelerators allow Insurance companies to transform their business to create a new and transformed customer experience through effective user experience design related to their direct to customer, or insurance broker channel strategy.

Internet of Things [IoT]

An IoT solution gives insurers the capability to collect vast amounts of data that can be combined with other technologies to create powerful solutions. IoT can also allow insurers to use drones to access real-time damage assessment related to natural catastrophes, for example, to better anticipate future claims, create a device network that will better align insurers with customer needs or to better understand and control their losses.

For more information, please visit Synechron-InsurTech

Foreign exchange buying and selling is now a transparent and convenient process with the rates aggregation platform from Nafex India. Nafex India has collaborated with more than Nine hundred RBI approved money changers and authorised dealers, who bid real-time for any individual currency, prepaid forex card or remittance requirements put up on the platform.

Image Source – Nafex

Rates comparison allows consumers to compare rates offered, proximity of the money changer, and make an informed decision to get the best deal for their forex requirements. This is a significant shift from the traditional model of rates dictated by banks, travel agencies, and grey market operators.  The reverse bidding for currency exchange, forex cards and outward remittances is uniquely available only on the Nafex India platform.

According to Annie Kumar, Co-founder and Managing Director, Nafex India

The money changer market in India and several parts of the world is going through a disruptive phase. Monopolistic rates controlled by few agencies is no longer working out with consumers. Flexibility, transparency, convenience & value are emerging as key considerations for forex buyers and sellers.  Nafex India endeavors to safeguard interests of consumers and build trust in transactions.

The promoters of the company, Jeethmal Mutha and Annie Kumar, have spent two decades in the forex and travel & hospitality industry. The company has tied up Pan India Money changers like Weizmann, Poundwize, UAE Exchange, Spice Money, Centrum along with several hundreds of  regional money of changers are participating in the reverse auction. Leisure travel, education, medical treatment are key areas of focus for Nafex India.

Nafex India platform includes currencies from US, Canada, UK, Australia, Europe, UAE, Saudi, Singapore, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand. From its launch, the Nafex India platform has witnessed 100,000+ transactions worth USD 40+ Mn in currency alone apart from Forex cards & remittance.

Nafex plans to add more features to the platform such as B2B & to build end-to-end expertise for enterprise and individual money changing solutions globally. Currently present in 100 cities, Nafex plans to rapidly launch its services in other Indian cities.

Payjo has launched SBI Intelligent Assistant or SIA, an AI-powered chat assistant that addresses customer enquiries instantly and helps them with everyday banking tasks just like a bank representative. With SIA, SBI will reduce significant operational expenditure over time.

Since launch, SIA has responded to millions of queries from thousands of customers. SIA is setup to handle nearly 10,000 enquiries per second or 864 Million in a day. That is nearly 25% of the queries processed by Google every day.

Setting up the AI platform for State Bank of India, the world’s largest bank with 420 Million customers is nothing short of an engineering marvel. Payjo’s architecture was diligently calibrated to seamlessly scale up to such magnitude. Deployment of this size is a ?rst of its kind in India and even across the world, such instances are few and far between. Payjo’s over 20 years of expertise in large enterprise ?nancial systems has made it possible for a successful launch.

SIA continuously learns with each interaction and gets better over time. Currently, it can address enquiries on banking products and services. It is trained with a large set of knowledge and is adept at answering frequently asked questions as well.

Commenting on SIA, Srinivas Njay, Founder and CEO of Payjo added

India’s banking infrastructure is light years ahead compared to the western world. The largest public sector bank of the country adopting Artificial Intelligence in a matter of few months is not an easy task. The credit goes to the progressive team at SBI and the continued Digital India push from our honourable PM Narendra Modi. SIA is a revolution in the banking industry. It is set to disrupt the way banks and customers interact.

Shiv Kumar Bhasin, CTO of SBI added

SIA is a perfect example of ground-breaking banking application in Arti?cial Intelligence and Conversational Banking. It will enhance customer service several notches above and Payjo’s expertise in the conversational banking domain helped us build SIA as a superior chatbot in the global banking space. We look forward to taking SIA and simplifying customer’s lives on multiple customer interaction platforms in partnership with Payjo.

SIA can be accessed through SBI’s portal. Payjo is working towards making SIA available across multiple customer touch-points like mobile, IVR, SMS and Social Media platforms. SIA will also be equipped to interact in most regional languages of India.

About Payjo

Payjo’s AI Banking platform powers top banks worldwide and facilitates 24*7 real-time automated assistance. It enables every conversation to be highly personalized, intelligent and secure. Payjo is CERT-In certi?ed for security and compliance and also adheres to RBI regulations as well as the Information Technology Amendment Act of India. For more information, please visit Payjo

Traditionally, banks and similar financial institutions have been the major players in the financial ecosystem in the country. But with the emergence of FinTech startups in India, the scene is changing pretty fast. Various aspects of banking including lending, payment, asset management, and equity finance have been impacted, and many see this as a welcome development in a sector that has lagged behind in offering ample options to meet the demands of a modern market.

Though FinTech is still at a nascent stage in India, the question that is being asked is whether they are merely disrupting banking services or working towards making the financial ecosystem ready for the new-age demands. The jury is still out on that but looking at the latest trends, it seems FinTech companies hold the promise to improve the financial market.

Here’s how they are doing it

Helping banks to reinvent themselves

Digital transformation in the banking sector was long overdue. The popularity of FinTech enabled services like digital wallets, and online money lending has propelled banks to engage themselves with emerging innovations including better, faster, and cheaper services.

Offering greater convenience

FinTech has made making payments, keeping track of one’s finances, and comparing investment policies much simpler. You can make online payment of your bills, pay taxi fare or lend or borrow money with just a click of the button. In today’s world where we are hard pressed for time this convenience of doing your financial transactions sitting at home is certainly a boon.

Providing more options

When it comes to making financial investments, the advice of not putting all eggs in one basket is the right one. But traditional financial institutions don’t offer a variety of financial instruments to choose from and whatever they offer do not give very high returns. FinTech companies are changing this. They not only offer better, more flexible and high return investments options but do so with better online experience. For instance, TachyLoans, a personal loan online provider allows its lenders to lend money to an unlimited number of borrowers and earn a relatively higher return on investment [anywhere between 11.5 % and 25%].

Contributing to the vision of Digital India

By making available a host of financial services electronically, FinTech startups in India are accelerating the vision of Digital India. As digital wallets, online payment, and P2P loans in India have become more common; a digitally empowered Indian financial ecosystem is slowly becoming a reality.

In short, FinTech is going to have a lasting impact on the financial environment of the country and hopefully change it for the better.

Visa, the global leader in payments technology and BillDesk, India’s leading electronic payments company, announced successful enablement of fifty large service providers for BharatQR payments acceptance in a short span of a month, thus extending the digital payment facility to potentially over 300 million consumers.

Image Source – Bharat QR

Some key merchants enabled include Tata AIG, ACT Broadband, Reliance Energy, Gujarat Gas, MTNL, Aircel, Tata Power, Pune Municipal Corporation, and Calcutta Electricity Supply spanning services such as utilities, internet, phone, DTH, insurance, and government services.

T.R. Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa, said

The core idea that binds technology and payments is simplicity and convenience, and QR code is a great example. Having pioneered QR technology as low cost payments solution for open loop networks, and having worked with the government and the industry in developing BharatQR, Visa’s endeavour is to grow the acceptance network for BharatQR in the country and make digital payments accessible to all. Through our collaboration with BillDesk, we hope to fast-track the transition to digital payments and make less-cash society a reality for India.

Ajay Kaushal, Co-founder, BillDesk said

BillDesk is delighted to engage with Visa to promote BharatQR. This is a simple yet powerful solution with great potential to shift consumers and merchants from cash to digital payments for everyday spends.  It provides the speed, security and convenience that cash payments cannot match.  Merchant interest in and demand for BharatQR is growing for it is simpler, faster, and more reliable ways to accept digital payments with BharatQR. We will continue to collaborate with Visa to enable online merchants for BharatQR acceptance and simplify digital payments for consumers.

Bharat QR is a secure, network-agnostic, and device less interface that enables customers to make payments using their bank apps on smartphones.  BharatQR simplifies digital payments by eliminating the need for divulging card details at the point of sale. For example, to use Bharat QR to pay their electricity bills, customers will simply need to log in to their bank’s app, and scan the QR code displayed on their electricity bill, enabling instant payment. Alternately, customers may enter their unique Customer IDs online and generate a QR code that can be scanned using their bank app.  To date, 30 banks together serving over 90% of India’s population have enabled their banking apps and nearly 400,000 merchants for BharatQR payments.

India will lead the world in smartphone adoption with a net addition of 350 million connections in 2016~20, according to a GSMA report. With the common standards, coupled with the low-cost acceptance method, BharatQR has the potential to accelerate financial inclusion in India.

PayPal, the global leader in online payments have announced a shortlist of five new Financial Technology [FinTech] startups – Finbox, Neoeyed, Paymatrix, Scalend and Tybo as new entrants into its PayPal Incubator in Chennai.

The announcement was made after the final round of pitching during the 5th Incubation Challenge, where 10 shortlisted startups from 250 startups presented to an esteemed panel of judges including Guru Bhat, GM Technology & Head of Engineering – PayPal, Anupam Pahuja, MD – PayPal India and Rama Bethmangalkar, Venture Capitalist, formerly with Ventureast.

As a part of PayPal’s vision to transform and democratize financial services, the Incubator helps elevate and drive innovation across the FinTech industry with a focus on startups in financial technology as well as adjacencies like loyalty, machine learning, big data and logistics among others.

Guru Bhat, GM Technology & Head of Engineering – PayPal said

In its 5th year, the PayPal Incubator has received an overwhelming response with over 250 applications from early stage FinTech startups – a 150% growth from last year, reflecting both the need for an incubation program, as well as the FinTech industry’s potential. Our program is designed to help our newly incubated startups script their own success stories by facilitating access to PayPal’s expertise in cutting-edge technology and by enabling them to leverage PayPal’s market leadership around the world.

Launched in 2013 in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs [TiE], the incubator provides a conducive environment for early-stage startups to grow and evolve at PayPal’s Technology Center in Chennai. The program offers startups technology counsel and mentorship, infrastructure support and networking opportunities with both investors and customers. In addition to these, PayPal will also be picking up an undisclosed stake in each of the selected startups this year.

Shortlisted Startups

Finbox is a digital lending software as a service which enables lenders to digitize their user journey and underwrite using alternate data. FinBox’s platform combines multiple APIs to build various digital lending experiences across use cases. FinBox API’s enable lenders validate Identity, underwrite using data from traditional and non traditional sources and cross sell financial products to their customers. FinBox products integrate seamlessly with the lender’s mobile and web properties and also with the loan management system backend.

Neoeyed helps the businesses to generate more revenues and improve users’ security by simplifying the login and registration processes on mobile applications. Using mobile devices, Neoeyed can recognize users by collecting information about human behavior that allows them to login without effort, nothing to type, nothing to remember, nothing to do…Transparent, simple, secure

Paymatrix is an analytics-driven property rental management platform that streamlines rent payments and collections for tenants, landlords and property managers. The platform’s dashboard provides solutions for end-to-end rent management including tenant screening, credit facilitation for rent deposits, rent documentation, rent automation, renters and landlords insurance and also helps in better interaction between tenants and landlords.

Scalend offers a ready to use AI enabled customer insights platform for financial services companies. The platform combines proprietary AI models with Big Data – Hadoop’s unlimited storage and compute power to help BFSI & Fintech companies generate actionable insights around omni-channel customer journey, back-office optimization, in matter of weeks not months or years

Tybo is a cloud based omni-channel e-commerce platform designed for home based and small-sized businesses. It provides the merchant a single view of their evolving business across multiple sales channels. The platform is focused on easy set up, simplicity of use and customizable design to create a beautiful storefront. It also enables end-to-end integration with supplier system and saves time by importing products directly into their store with real-time inventory sync.