Considering the fact that Financial industry is sort of entrenched in its traditional functionalities, and also being a massive industry, one wondered if it would ever be regulated by the blooming disruptions. As it happened, over the recent years, financial industry witnessed a great change in their landscape, adapting new innovations and steadily transforming everything from banking to wealth management to investment advice.

It is hard to deny that the face of FinTech industry has changed. The stream of innovations are luring financial concerns, advocating the importance of going digital, where one setting an example to the other on how by offering differing services one can catapult growth. This chain of growth has led to numerous financial firms implement fast-changing technologies.

Today’s technology is ephemeral. Fintech has its own challenges, especially its concerns over security. On the other end of the spectrum, the siloed firms, who had been hesitant in adopting every new technology that emerging in the market, argue that the fintech is shaping and reshaping too fast. The point they make is that though digital transformation is a need, fintech needs to strike a fine balance between legacy systems and emerging technologies. It seems like a valid point, however, the talk is that, the influx of new disruptive solutions are too tempting for fintech to resist. And the fear of being left behind is also one of the reasons contributing to the changing face of fintech.

Let’s take a look at how technology is shaping up today’s fintech industry.

Top Trends

There were several things trending in fintech in the last few years, but 2016 has been a rollercoaster year in terms of mobility, trust, and blockchain within the financial technology space. According to a FinTech Report by PWC, around 56% in the fintech world prefer to put disruption at the heart of their strategy.

The future of fintech is a big question that’s going the rounds. As new trends emerge, we are abounded with endless debates on what are the trends and how it is transforming the fintech landscape.

Here’s the gist in no particular order.

InsurTech

Apart from just being the amalgamation of ‘insurance’ plus ‘technology’, this trends is born to address the issues of one of finance’s bigger part of its pie – Insurance.

Considering the fact that insurance business tough, banks say that the foray of insurtech changed the way the insurance pitching is done, and it has led to significant growth in the insurance sector. Trov, a U.S company for example, is one of the much talked about startup. It’s an insurtech startup, which provides on-demand insurance. Its pay-as-you-need insurance policy is a trend that’s making heads turn.

Apart from on-demand insurance, the insurtech has enabled several banks to take a new approach in pitching their insurance products. For example, some banks have adapted the strategy of shooting push notifications about travel insurance while their target customers are traveling – when they are in airports, or travelling in trains and so on.

Mobile-first

The usage of smartphones has shifted from ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘must have’. Thanks to the mobile-first concept that is fast replacing the traditional methods.

The Banking sector is banking on the mobile-first concept by offering differentiated mobile services for a better customer satisfaction. It is not hard to see why, as a recent Google Report stated that over 51% have discovered new companies or firms while searching on their smartphones.

Regtech

Finance industry has been closely focusing on anti-fraud and risk management for a long time now. Off lately, fintech had been bombarded with new innovations to tackle issues pertaining to rules and risk management, and one of the fast-catching up differentiator is the Regtech.

According to Financial Conduct Authority , which also coined the term, described regtech thus “it is a sub-set of FinTech that focuses on technologies that may facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements more efficiently and effectively than existing capabilities”. With the advent of Regtech, financial firms are hopeful that regtech might facilitate in overcoming their challenges.

Today, regtech startups are multiplying fast, offering differentiated services in the areas of customer due diligence data, regulatory reports, processing of data management, Solvency II requirement, and of course anti-fraud and risk management.

Machine Learning, Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence

The customer transaction structure is constantly evolving. Various industries are experimenting with various disruptive methods in offering unique yet reliable methods of transaction. Artificial Intelligence, Chatbots and Machine Learning are now helping enterprises reinvent customer interaction. Today, banks too decided to get on bandwagon.

Many big banks have adopted Chatbots in place of the customary IVR to transform customer interaction for better outcomes. There are AI-powered Chatbots to give customers an unique banking experience.

As of 2017, the Machine Learning, Chatbots and AI continue to be one of the most trending aspects in the fintech world.

Top 5 Startups in Fintech

AnyTimeLoan

Based: Hyderabad

Founder: Keerti Kumar Jain

They are here to put a smile on the faces of needy people, K-12 students and business people. AnyTimeLoan provides loans to three categories of people:

Loans to the needy people. Avoiding a clash with personal loans offered by banks, this startup gives loan between Rs. 1,000 and 60,000 for 1 to 90 days.

It provides loans to K-12 students.

The third category of loan is to the business people. It offers loan up to

Rs. 45,000 for up to 180 days

Differentiating factor: The company is AI powered, which segregates data from loan applications, compares it with that specific customer’s loan history or digital footprint to evaluate their repaying capability.

Additionally, the company follows the a unique practice of live selfie to understand the repaying intention of customers. The founder, Keerti Jain justifies the method as thus ‘The way you think reflects the way you look,’.

Today, the startup has offered loans amounting to more than US$7.5 million so far with a default rate of 0.83 percent.

DSYH (Don’t Scratch Your Head)

Based: Ahmedabad

Co-founder: Sumit Karanji

An unorthodox name for a fintech startup. This startup, through their tool, is aimed to help ecommerce sellers to automatically reconciling their accounts to avoid losing out on receipts of wrong charges, returns, promotions etc. The upshot of this that, as the founder claim, helps in recovering 3-5 percent of revenue losses.

Differentiating factor: “Reconciliation is sector-agnostic,” says its founder. The entire process of reconciliation is automated. And the same principle can be used in hospitality industry between Zomato and restaurants, Ola and its drivers, and so on.

Fingpay

Based: Indore

Founder: Pratyush Halen

The Fingpay app is a signature product of Indore-based company Tapits. The app, using biometric authentication Aadhaar ID, enables merchants to accept digital payments from customers who don’t have a card or wallet. Thus facilitating payments through just Aadhaar ID and biometric scans.

The founders say that, unlike Paytm, which took several years for them to reach 100 million customer mark, the Fingpay has achieved in bringing in over 780 million customers in just 1 year.

Differentiating factor: Aadhaar holders can now make payments with just a swipe of their finger, and the money will be debited from their bank account that is linked to their Aadhaar card.

For security, the merchant phone number is mapped with Aadhaar in the backend. For transit level security, the fingerprint is encrypted at the device level itself.

FRS Labs

Based: Bangalore

Founder: Shankar Palaniandy

The FRS Labs offers tech solutions specializing in biometric and fraud detection for businesses. With over 5 products under their belt – Atlas, Atreus, Prism, Vistas and Fotopod – FRS Labs has made customer onboarding for banks easy.

Differentiating factor:

Though biometric authentication and Aadhaar ID has simplified the process, it either requires the customer to go to the bank or a rep’s visit to the customer’s home for validation. This is exactly where FRS Labs’ solution comes to the aid. It has replaced the direct visit process with a live selfie. All customer has to do is provide a live selfie, which will then be matched with relevant Aadhaar photo, and verified. This verification process is done through modern facial recognition technology.

The authentication takes just 30 seconds, compared to the traditional methods, which takes several days.

S2Pay

Based: Bangalore

Founders: Aditya Agarwal and Nirmal Juthani

Just when the government is encouraging people the go cashless, one of the basic requirement that most people lack is the need of internet to make online payments. Understanding this pain point, S2pay comes out with its solution to help people make digital payments without internet.

Differentiating factor:

The S2Pay app is integrated with the bank app, where the user enter their 4 digit PIN. This generates a 24 digit number and a QR code, which the merchant can scan in order to receive payments.

This method eliminates the need of additional hardware. A phone is all one needs. By this way, the 4 digit PIN does not reach the merchant. Also, for security reasons, the 24 digit is only valid for 10 minutes.

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