A Great 2016 Leads to a Greater 2017
Bigger, Better, Bolder Than Before
Just like the sequel to your favorite film that you watched in your neighborhood theatre, 2017 promises to top a fantastic 2016. 2016 has laid the groundwork impressively.
The year started with a bang, featuring UPI’s launch in February. Many other stories impacted the scene throughout the year. Then, in November, PM Narendra Modi’s televised address announced the demonetization of India’s two largest currency notes.
The landscape has shifted – and FinTech is shifting into high gear in 2017. Let’s look at the coming attractions:
- The Blockchain Blockbuster
Invented by person/persons using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain has brought a wave of security into the Internet pool. Bitcoin and other blockchain based cryptocurrencies are offering a safe and speedy alternative to hard currencies.
Bitcoin transactions in the US in 2016 averaged $200,000 US per day. Goldman Sachs is a great believer in the tech and reports that it could bring global savings of $6 billion US per year. As India moves towards a cashless economy, blockchain tech will prove integral.
The government has created a panel to bring recommendations on cryptocurrency before the end of the third quarter this year. And the Ministry of Finance has suggested in the Watal Report that regulation for digital payments should be separated from central banking operations.
With the burgeoning interest and implementation in 2016 of e-currency, investment and savings are just two of many areas which are projected to see real revolution this year.
- Biometrics and Other Security – Not Just for James Bond
How secure is secure? When it’s your money – you can’t be safe enough. Hackers pose a new age threat to everyone using the internet, but there are methods to bulletproof your online financial security that can – and should – be brought to market this year.
Authentication means that you can prove that it’s you and no one else verifying transactions and approving credit or loans. From fingerprint sensors to facial recognition to retinal authentication, the technology is here to be implemented – even on your smartphone with the proper app. As a bonus, you won’t have to remember all those passwords anymore. Look for enhanced security features to create even more consumer confidence.
- Micro-Payments and P2P Steal the Show
With the new availability and affordability of smartphones, rural areas have also opened up to the opportunities of micropayments. The government’s digital literacy campaign is even showing consumers how to use e-wallets to make payments, along with other methods such as Aadhaar. And 30 million Kisan cards being converted to RuPay cards will allow farmers to skip the trips to the bank and make their transactions digitally.
P2P lending will surge with roughly 5.7 million Indian small businesses out there exploring their options. India has approximately 30 P2P platforms already. The government will be providing regulations to help safeguard the process as well.
If UPI isn’t enough already: look for UPI 2.0 to hit the market with a new set of bells and whistles. This is what makes the process more adjustable and personalized.
- Robo-Advisors – Hasta La Vista, Loan Officer
Artificial intelligence, algorithms – FinTech. A.I. and big data analytics will streamline the lending process and bring it to real-time decision making. There are already 39 robo-advisory firms in India.
SMEs are benefitting from Government enhancement of credit programs, as per the PM’s December 2016 address. SMEs now qualify for funds worth two crores, rather than the previous one crore. FinTech enterprises are providing close to 40% of this year’s lending. A. I. will make that process even more attractive.
Investments? Yes – there are robo-advisors for that too. BigDecision, 5nance, and others are already helping with financial planning and will become more mainstream. Also, watch for more and more banks offering the chatbot option of customer service.
- Go For Knowledge, Once You Have It Success Will Follow You
We’ve seen 2016 and the opportunities created. We know what trends to expect. What Sholay is to movies, FinTech is to our financial future. Now is the time to move boldly forward. India’s future lies in its innovators and its entrepreneurs – and that future has never looked brighter.
UPI, demonetization, FinTech, blockchain, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, cashless economy, digital payments, e-currency, micropayments, e-wallets, Aadhaar, RuPay cards, P2P lending, UPI 2.0, Artificial intelligence, algorithms, big data analytics, SMEs, financial planning, chatbot