Financial technology (Fintech) is a term used to describe financial services which are predominantly technology driven or applying technology to improve financial services. With the revolution of internet and heavy penetration of smart phones, access to technology has become extremely affordable. This has further boosted the growth of financial technology which has grown explosively. In the initial days, technology was restricted to the back office of banks or trading firms, and merely for accounting and book-keeping. However, this perspective has totally changed in today’s era. The domain of “Fin-Tech” now has broad variety of technological interventions from personal to commercial finance.
The world after coronavirus will be different from the one that entered the Covid-era. This world will boast of a new order of things while facilitating a distinct routine for the people in the post-lockdown, post-pandemic future. This transformation will be marked by the persistence of social distancing-codes and other health & hygiene-focused lifestyle adjustments across all spheres that have already become a norm since the onset of the pandemic.
New-age fintech players that will rise to the occasion on the back of relevant, high-impact financial solutions will earn a leading edge over their peers in the post-Covid-19 market. In fact, innovators in the country’s fintech space are already supporting the quarantined population – individuals and enterprises alike – in the lockdown-battered scheme of things.
Amidst the ongoing lockdown, people are relying on online payments and other digital-led financial mechanisms such as credit/debit cards, e-Wallets, UPI etc. Why? Because digital-first systems enable people to meet their financial obligations without moving out from their home, thereby enabling them to observe mandated social distancing-protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19. As a result, various digital payments companies registered a transactional surge in online payment volumes since nationwide lockdown was announced near the end of March.
In line with minimising one’s physical contact environment, digital-based fintech services prevent users from engaging in the exchange of cash which can function as a potential Covid-19 carrier. In light of such benefits, it is no wonder that fintech comprises the key to unlocking a safer and more financial inclusive future in the post-pandemic landscape. Let’s take a look how.
The mission of the fintech sector is to leverage technology to deliver both existing and emerging banking services to the maximum number of people in the most convenient format. In the post-Covid-19 future, sanitization and hygiene will comprise the priority for every individual. Therefore, fintechs will step into this picture by making payment services contact-less and more accessible so that the maximum number of people can use new-age financial services at the minimum risk of contracting the virus. In other words, the fintech services of the future will be tasked with transforming the financial landscape to make it safer besides more efficient, accessible, and affordable.
To achieve this, fintech service providers will need to adopt new-age, contactless features and make them available to the masses. These include dynamic QR codes, contactless biometric authentication, and contactless card payment solutions, among other things. UPI is another existing technology which has already gained significant traction in India, especially since the onset of the lockdown. With time, all contact-based payment models such as PoS machines will get replaced with the aforementioned contactless, mobile-based solutions.
However, the country is home to a large chunk of people who are not only underprivileged, unbanked, and underserved but also lack access to a smartphone as well as the prerequisite knack for technology essential for using such tech-based services. Against this backdrop, fintechs face the challenge of coming up with relevant solutions specifically designed for this target group. AePS & mATM comprises one such solution that has the potential to thread through all of these requirements.
In a country such as India, the hassle-free financial services offered by AePS delivers a robust channel to reach out to and uplift the underprovided and underserved segment. Since a large majority of people, including those from remote regions, are already linked with Aadhaar, AePS can play an instrumental role in enabling the much-needed paradigm shift towards a new, critical transactional routine in the post-lockdown, post-pandemic financial ecosystem.
The futuristic fintech landscape will also see the emergence of innovations that will facilitate holistic financial services over a single mobile interface for Indian users across geographies. The shift in user sensibilities will encourage service providers to collate and deliver their offerings to enable cross-selling of services over one platform. New-age fintech platforms are already offering consolidated fintech solutions to users, enabling them to carry out a range of operations such as spending, lending, investing, fund transfer, etc. Assisted e-commerce on existing B2B2C platforms is another feature that new-age fintechs will provide to Indian users in the post-lockdown, post-pandemic future.
Innovation-focused players are committed to resolving all the bottlenecks inhibiting a seamless positive transformation within the country’s financial ecosystem. Their progress-oriented vision will see the emergence of. And considering present trends, unlocking a safer, more accessible, and inclusive fintech ecosystem is no longer a matter of possibility, but merely that of time.
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