In­dian fin­tech in­ter­ests in­vestors

The National - News - - BUSINESS - Re­becca Bund­hun

In­dia’s fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy sec­tor that has grown at a brisk pace this year in the coun­try is ex­pected to con­tinue gath­er­ing mo­men­tum go­ing into the new year.

“2018 is go­ing to see a grow­ing in­ter­est in fin­tech star­tups, spurred both by am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to dis­rupt and in­creased in­vestor in­ter­est in this space,” said Ro­hit Lo­hia, the co-founder and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Coin­tribe, a lend­ing plat­form.

Fin­tech seg­ments such as dig­i­tal pay­ments and al­ter­na­tive lend­ing so­lu­tions have been the fo­cus for a num­ber of start-up launches in In­dia in re­cent quar­ters, ea­ger to cap­i­talise on the digi­ti­sa­tion drive in one of Asia’s lead­ing economies.

“Last year has been an in­cred­i­ble year for the fin­tech sec­tor, as the af­ter­math of de­mon­eti­sa­tion and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST cre­ated a pos­i­tive pol­icy en­vi­ron­ment for more in­di­vid­u­als and small and medium-sized com­pa­nies to go dig­i­tal,” said Manav Jeet, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ru­bique, a fi­nan­cial ser­vices mar­ket­place in In­dia.

Bit­coin and other cryp­tocur­ren­cies, like ev­ery­where else, have also gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est in In­dia amid surg­ing value and volatile trad­ing.

How­ever, the Re­serve Bank of In­dia has is­sued a se­ries of warn­ings about the lack of reg­u­la­tion on these cur­ren­cies, high­light­ing po­ten­tial se­cu­rity and fi­nan­cial risks. The de­bate on le­git­i­macy and whether dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies are a solid as­set class is not go­ing to die down any­time soon and will likely rage on 2018 as well.

While the fu­ture of cryp­tocur­ren­cies is far from cer­tain in In­dia, the fo­cus of the gov­ern­ment here, is firmly fixed on en­cour­ag­ing dig­i­tal trans­ac­tion seg­ment, as it pushes for trans­parency in its cash-heavy econ­omy.

“Fin­tech play­ers to­day are dis­rupt­ing a space which has tra­di­tion­ally been ruled by large fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions,” said San­jay Sharma, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Aye Fi­nance.

Dig­i­tal wal­lets, for ex­am­ple, have seen a surge this year, par­tic­u­larly fol­low­ing de­mon­eti­sa­tion, when cash dried up. Rapidly ris­ing pen­e­tra­tion of smart­phones and grow­ing use of in­ter­net in In­dia bodes well for the fin­tech sec­tor.

Like else­where in both de­vel­oped and the de­vel­op­ing worlds, In­dia is likely to see an in­creased col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and fin­tech play­ers “to im­prove the odds for every­one and dra­mat­i­cally im­prove user ex­pe­ri­ence”, ac­cord­ing to Mr Sharma. As the sec­tor grows and tech­nol­ogy de­vel­ops in 2018, In­dian start-ups are likely to try and ven­ture into more so­phis­ti­cated and cut­ting-edge fin­tech so­lu­tions .

“While pay­ments and lend­ing will con­tinue to get the most at­ten­tion in fin­tech space, 2018 might also see some play­ers break-out in the AI, blockchain or robo-ad­vi­sory space,” Mr Lo­hia said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.