Akshay Mehrotra

Co-Founder and CEO of EarlySalary

1. Your thoughts on how are FinTech’s in India powering a digital economy?

- The first phase of driving the digital economy was powered by fintech payment players and build larger penetration of digital payments, fuelled by demonetisation. The second phase which we see today is filled by fintech challenging classical banking class products like saving, lending, distribution, etc., more efficiently by building distribution efficiency, process efficiency, and more in-depth customer profiling. While in my opinion, the next phase of fintech will be in a cognitive role, which will powering India’s digital economy growth. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning will help in serving the next class of customers in a better way and building scaled operations in segments which a traditional business could not build a viable business model using technology.

2. Top 5 trends to look out for in the FinTech space in the coming years.

- Key trends:

  • Micro Saving: Facilitating saving for next billion is a huge opportunity where we see many disruptors taking and looking to invest.
  • Lending & Credit to next segment of underserved: Larger than life opportunity existing catering to next segments across every market - underserved salaried, underserved mass market beyond top cities and credit-starved micro-self-employed and growing gig economy worker.
  • SME credit focus has even larger focus both with support of GST led accounting data access and bill discounting model.
  • Form Factor Losing its Charm: We saw QR code replacing the form factor. We will see this further go beyond to the next level of VR payments, Touch pay, Card Not Present pay apart from QR & UPI payments.
  • Balance Sheet Play: Fintech disrupters to build a balance sheet and move to longer tenure offering to balance customer acquisition cost (CAC) vs customer ownership costs.

3. What are the 3 core points that you would like to deliberate at The Economic Times BFSI Innovation Tribe Summit & Awards scheduled for the 24th February 2020 in Mumbai?

- Key points to deliberate on:

  • FinTech does not mean distribution only. It’s about using technology to run a financial business holistically. Lending, Decisioning, Distribution, Collections, and Payments all need to encompass this.
  • Fintech, especially lending, cannot be monetised for many new disrupters in the category. The core business has to make financial sense and not monetisation by cross-selling.
  • Innovators have to scale: Solving a small problem is easy but scale to cater to a broader audience and serve a billion Indians is the critical question, and we need to look at building a scalable business using technology and innovate in FinTech.