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How Neobanks Can Become the Next Revolution in the Indian Banking Sector: An Interview with Suman Gandham

Founder and CEO, Transfin.
Oct 8, 2020 5:13 AM 3 min read
Editorial

We speak with Suman Gandham, Founder and CEO of Finin, a soon-to-be-launched Neobanking platform, who believes everyone deserves a simpler, low-stress relationship with their money.

 

The number one difference between traditional banks and neobanks is the very fact that neobanks are employing AI and big data analytics to give its users a reimagined banking experience.

 

Q. Why are neobanks recently gaining traction in India? What’s the market opportunity here?

Mr. Gandham:

India has been witnessing steady growth in adoption, anticipating neobanks over the past few years. Our demography has matured to seek better banking experiences. 

At Finin, we are constantly striving to find what it is that Indians are looking for. We plan to give traditional banking services a makeover while simultaneously hosting a suite of financial services that currently offered by multiple apps under a single umbrella. 

 

Q. What is the business model? 

Mr. Gandham:

The vision of Finin is to make money work for its users through a new approach to banking. 

We provide a savings account with the ability to view all transactions, even from other banks, through a single birds-eye view. It comes with additional features that encourage a habit of saving and financial literacy among our users.

In India, financial literacy is almost non-existent with more than 70% of the population stating that they do not understand taxes, investments, stocks and share markets, to say the least. 

With Finin, saving has been planted as an everyday habit with micro-saving functions, budgeting and goal-creating features. We are even looking to deep-dive into investment and share market advisory to empower users to gain a better understanding of financial markets. 

We pride ourselves in having hyper-personalised solutions, which is a big plus for the Indian market. A 28-year-old married person with two kids must experience banking, interest rates, loans and investment recommendations very differently from a 28-year-old unmarried person. We understand this and we practice it in our offerings through data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

 

Q. How do you read RBI’s strict licensing regime for neobanks? How do you expect it to evolve going forward?  

Mr. Gandham:

While every company has a set of boundaries to play within the regulatory framework, we understand the realities and are working with key stakeholders to innovate and provide maximum utility for users.

We are positive that innovation and disruption in key markets will help the regulations expand and help consumers in the long run.

 

Q. With neobanks not allowed to directly lend, is there a risk that they would end up merely as credit origination channels for traditional banks?

Mr. Gandham:

Not necessarily. We are positive that with the right partnerships and clever user journey creation, we can navigate through lending and borrowing in a more user-friendly and system-effective way. We do have lending in our roadmap, but for a future date. 

 

Q. What role do you see for advanced AI in digital banking applications? Any use-cases that you could share? 

Mr. Gandham:

The number one difference between traditional banks and neobanks is the very fact that neobanks are employing AI and big data analytics to give its users a reimagined banking experience. The hyper-personalised banking feature is a simple example of how AI and effective data analytics can customise the banking experience based on a user’s lifestyle, earn-spend capacity, financial commitments, financial habits and much more. 

The very same data paired with behavioural analytics increases the scope for Finin to offer high-quality recommendations and suggestions to our users to make sure they are always getting the most relevant and fruitful suggestions. Features like bill payment reminders before the due date or reminders on refunds and subscription cancellations are just a few more examples of how Finin aims to add nuance to every payment journey and avoid unnecessary mishaps in spending.

 

FIN.

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