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Fintech In India: The past, The present, The future

Fintech companies employ the best of new technology to create faster, smoother, and safer financial experiences.

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In the past, financial services could be obtained in India but at a slow rate. Buying and selling stocks required multiple calls with a broker. The loan approval process was cumbersome and required multiple visits to bank branches. If you wanted to look at your bank statement, you needed to request a physical copy. And to pay utility bills, you had to visit physical branches spread across a city.

Today, all of these services are available at the tap of a finger. The quantum of time saved, and productive hours opened up, is a big gain for both the individuals involved, as well as the larger society. These advances have been possible due to the fintech ecosystem in India - a dynamic yet focussed set of companies, both new and old, that have carefully noticed customer pain points, and provided elegant solutions.

Fintech Funding In India 

In the first quarter of 2020, India overtook China in terms of Fintech funding.[1] While Chinese fintech companies attracted $270 million dollars in funding, Indian companies attracted a whopping $330 million. To look at the matter from a different angle, here’s how many deals were inked in these 2 countries respectively: 26 in China, 37 in India. While China remains the bigger market, India is rapidly realizing its enormous growth potential as well.

It’s interesting to look at a breakdown of Fintech funding. Fintech companies in India are spread across different categories such as: payments, lending, insurance, personal finance management, investment platforms, and more. There are 2000+ Fintech startups in India, and the biggest category is Payments. This is because no matter one’s job, gender, or age, everyone has bills to pay, invoices to process, and online orders to pay for. 

Fintech & Investing 

Technology has brought in exciting changes to the world of investing. Trading has gotten a lot more convenient, and trade processing times have decreased. The marginal fraud associated with paper stock certificates has disappeared with the advent of digital stock certificates. 

It’s now possible for investors to check out a stock’s past price performance and go through extensive research reports prepared by experts. Brokerage firms provide a wide range of investment opportunities, from equities to mutual funds, from derivatives to commodities, under the same umbrella. 

Investors today can buy and sell stocks in a matter of seconds without going through any third party. The individual traders can set their own limits to how much risk they are ready to tolerate and the price points at which they’d like to liquidate their positions. In short, Fintech has given investors control over their investments like never before. 

The progress will not just continue, but speed up, in the future. This is because different Fintech companies are now interacting with each other and providing more integrated experiences to the users.

One of the technologies that is making cross-platform communication possible is API.

API

API stands for Application programming interface. API is software code that opens up channels of communication between two different applications. A lot of the modern web is driven by the astute use of API integrations. 

Here are 3 ways in which APIs are used today:

  1. Weather: The online weather widgets, seen in new browser tabs and phone home screens, work via APIs. These weather widgets display the weather, humidity, wind speed, and other such data in real time. They achieve this with behind-the-scenes integration with constantly updated weather datasets. 
  2. Opening an app in another app: A lot of work apps now allow knowledge workers to open documents and videos in the same app. This also works through APIs. This allows people to do their work without opening up an unmanageable number of applications. 
  3. Becoming Visible On Bigger Platforms: Big platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, allow marketers and business owners to market and sell on their websites. APIs play a role here too. For example, if a restaurant wants to become visible on google maps, they can use Google’s API to embed their location, open timings, and menu into google maps. When people use google maps, their business will pop up if they have the relevant filter on.   

Smart API

With Smart API, Angel Broking is bringing the many possibilities of APIs to the financial world. Smart API allows fintech companies to integrate a lot of new services on their platforms without doing all the work that entails. 

Using Smart API, a company can offer historical price data, real-time stock prices, order execution capabilities, and much more on its platform. According to government regulations, only licensed and approved brokers can offer these services. By using Smart API, fintech companies can walk around the regulatory hurdles and supercharge their financial products. 

Smart API aims to free up startups to focus on the unique problem they’re solving. For instance, the problem of safely and quickly buying and selling stocks has been solved by Angel Broking. Why reinvent the wheel if it has been made before? Smart API gives companies access to reliable infrastructure that plugs and plays with any system.

Smart API is available in multiple different programming languages, boosting its accessibility for different startups. And Smart API plugins are available for free.

Conclusion

The future of Fintech in India will see both vertical and horizontal growth. The horizontal growth will involve existing technologies becoming more accessible to a greater number of people. The vertical growth will see the emergence of entirely new financial technologies that give people new tools to trade, invest, save money, and restructure their finances. 

Both these forms of growth will take India forward on its journey to financial maturity, and unlock a lot of economic growth on the way.


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