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Fintech Fest 2020: Open Credit Enablement Network will revolutionise micro lending in India and across the globe

Last week the largest two-day, virtual fintech meet-up, the Global Fintech Fest 2020,  took place in India. Industry veterans and thought leaders in the Fintech & BFSI ecosystems across the globe took part at the global event organised by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Fintech Convergence Council (FCC) and Payments Council of India (PCI).

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Digital lending – offering credits to the smallest businesses

Speaking at the largest two-day, virtual fintech meet-up – Global Fintech Fest 2020, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said the future of lending will be Phygital. Betting big on digital lending he stated the latter will be the next big driver in fintech, driven by retail loans. Digital lending will constitute 50% of total lending by 2023. Kant said that the financial technology sector has been the shining star of India’s startup and technology ecosystem, enabling a seamless transition from physically connected to a physically distant but socially connected environment.

Addressing the delegates, Nandan Nilekani – Co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Infosys stated that democratising credit in India is the need of the hour as he captured the remarkable journey of the Indian fintech industry which had now become a global hotbed for innovation. According to him, for reviving the economy India needs to kick-start consumption, offer credit a larger role whilst lubricating small businesses with capital.

India needs to go that extra mile in offering credit to the most deserving, smallest businesses and individuals. With most credit directed to large companies in large volumes, smaller companies and micro-enterprises are left in the lurch with little or no access to credit at all which is a huge concern for the next growth phase of the industry he said. According to Nilekani, Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) which enables to connect lenders to marketplaces and thereby to borrowers is a technology system, currently under discussion. If implemented, the technology can democratise lending to micro-enterprises and street vendors in a big way.

Moreover, with the cost of lending being too high, small value loans become unfeasible. He therefore suggested, account aggregator service protocols developed and backed by RBI can be the game-changer. While it can be implemented across fintech firms like wealth management, broking and banking, he highlighted the fact that the latter, most importantly and immediately, needs to be implemented in lending so the well-deserving smaller and micro businesses are able to opt for loans.

Mobile banking to become the most preferred banking channel

State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar said “Mobile banking may become the most preferred banking channel, even more than internet banking, in the days to come. Out of 100 transactions at SBI, only 9 transactions are being made in branches. While transactions at ATMs at the time of demonetisation were around 55%,  now they are down to around 30% and digital, mobile banking has seen a rise from 25-30 to 55% now. Going ahead it is going to be internet banking and mobile banking that will flourish, Kumar said delivering a keynote address at the Global Fintech Fest.

In his opening address, Dilip Asbe, Managing Director and CEO, NPCI said: “The pandemic has been a great catalyst for the industry and we aim to develop an eco-system where digital transactions are executed remotely, possibly by the majority of our population. We appreciate the concerted efforts of the government authorities in offering the necessary tailwinds in promoting the industry.”

Earlier in the day, Naveen Surya, Chairman, Fintech Convergence Council said “India, currently, is a very fertile ground for the progression of collaborations between banks and fintech, accelerating the growth of nascent sectors like – neo-banking and digital lending. The role of non-banks in the growth of UPI, BBPS and PPI has been sizeable. The phenomenal funding and global attention attracted by sectors like – payments, lending and wealth-tech speaks volumes of the kind of impact the Indian fintech has had on the society and the world at large. With low-cost, high-volume transactions across payment technology, digital banking and lending, fintech has helped serve millions in a way that the legacy systems couldn’t.”

About the Fintech Fest

The Global Fintech Fest has witnessed participation from 50+ countries, 100+ speakers and 10000+ registered delegates in attendance. Significantly, 45% are international speakers and 30% women speaker participation. Of the total delegate participation, around 30% are from the international community. In addition, there are 75 Indian and international 75 exhibitors showcasing their products and services in the two-day fest. Global Fintech Festival has brought together representatives of banking, financial technology and investment industries from across the globe to host impactful dialogues, public discussions and a curated exhibition of the latest disruptive technologies.

About Fintech Convergence Council (FCC)

FCC is formed under the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and represents the FinTech industry and traditional companies in the BFSI space. The purpose of the council is to encourage collaboration, seek complementarities and build synergy between leading BFSI companies and the emerging FinTech start-ups. The council has worked towards interpreting the regulatory and legal framework, aggregating the concerns and feedback of the various players within the larger FinTech community, communicating it to regulators and lawmakers, and organizing events and gatherings for the industry participants to meet, share ideas and work together in the interest of creating a safer, more open and more collaborative operating environment through a transparent forum.

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