How Has COVID-19 Provided An Opportunity To Fintech Businesses To Boost Their Morale?
While the pandemic has been creating stirs among a massive mass, there are industries that have tried to seize this opportunity to leave an indelible mark...
Fintso, a deep-tech platform for independent financial advisors aims to bridge the gaps they face in servicing end clients. In previous coverages, Express Computer mentioned how industry experts feel bullish about this industry, and the numbers are quite promising.
Yet, how are the fintech startups bringing their ideas into fruition amid such testing times? George Mitra, CEO and Co-founder, Fintso, tell us more.
How is Fintso leveraging technology for product innovation in the finance marketplace?
Fintso uses technology to essentially get a better understanding of both needs (clients) as well as markets – by encompassing actual transactions both present and historical, from the vast distributed network of Independent financial distributors and advisors. This data is used, along with the domain experience of the team, to provide solutions that help increase the business of the IFI s – through insights on their clients, wider product suites, better client engagement. The platform also helps free up time for the IFI to concentrate on their core business of client interface, by taking over their mid- and back-office activities
There are 3 main areas where technology is being used: extensive RPA(Robotic Process Automation) and ML (Machine Learning), to onboard IFI s and their relationships, which may be over years. This allows a better, holistic understanding of the clients, and enable the IFI s to provide the same level of digital services including Mobile App along with cutting edge engagement. This also helps to bring down the actual running costs of the back and Mid office that IFI s would otherwise have to maintain.
Big Data and analytics are being undertaken by Fintso to help understand not only the client’s risk and requirements (based on past transactions), but also the use of algorithms to determine model portfolios, recommend changes, and monitor real-time risks and volatility.
Fintso is extensively implementing API s to interface with existing and new product manufacturers in order to integrate solutions based on needs – this covers everything from plain vanilla products to the products that are being manufactured by the latest fintech companies.
How can platformisation assist Financial Advisors increase efficiency?
It is extremely difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, for any independent financial advisor/distributor to be able to create tools that large organised firms take for granted. It is their deep relationship with their clients, and to most part, their hard-earned investment knowledge, that allows them to sustain their business.
Changing client behaviour (eg need to have access to their portfolios for information and execution), or deeper review and analytics on portfolios, increased communication in volatile times, and knowledge on new products and services – are all very difficult to cater to.
Democratisation of the products, services, advisory that are present through the personalised touch, and large (expensive) teams of organised players provide to their Ultra HNI clients, is the current need of clients.
Platformasation is the solution to put everything in place. It allows a host of independent advisors to use a common service and operations back-bone that to customise to their individual requirements without compromising on their own identity.
The platform is also through being able to utilise best practices from a large number of people, their insights, to benefit the users as a whole.
How COVID-19 has created an opportunity for Fintso to leverage their business?
We believe that the past 5 weeks has made all of us know, understand, and accept the usage of technology more than the past 5 years. Digitisation is always the trend that Fintso has been focussing on the platform aims to leverage technology for independent advisors in this fragmented wealth management market. This addresses the potential of IFAs and give them opportunity to efficiently serve Indian investors both existing and new.
The advent of COVID-19 accelerated this trend in the whole industry and all eco-system players (clients/advisors/manufacturers/regulators) have to adjust to the new normal – a low touch economy. This financial state is extremely volatile and hence, the safe harbors of the past need to be re-looked at from a product selection, monitoring, and advisory perspective.
Cost reduction, the ability to provide a wider basket of services, and staying relevant for the dynamic consumers, are on top of mind of any entrepreneur – and the eco-system players that Fintso is catering to, is no exception.
We have taken out a detailed report on the impact of COVID-19 on the eco-system to cover all these aspects in detail.
On the Cyber Security front, how is FIntso assuring privacy and data safety of users?
Data security and privacy are at the core of the platform design of Fintso and is one of the cornerstones on which we are building out our pillars of trust between us and our subscribers and ensuring the security of all the data related to their business. This essentially means that who can access data, how they can access, and what data can be used for has been considered at the design phase itself by isolating data at the database level using roles and security policies.
Fintso is using cloud infrastructure (by AWS) to host the platform which allows us to utilize a lot of the cutting-edge native security features including cryptography and built-in web application firewalls that allow us to create layer 7 rules for our web application traffic.
The data itself is stored after compartmentalizing and encrypting it. For instance, we store personal and transactional data in separate buckets with a unique encrypted key linking the two, unlike some tech platforms that use sensitive information like PAN to maintain the linkages.
‘It is also built on a clear data entitlement principal – only data which is supposed to be accessible to any user of Fintso is accessible to him/her, be it a subscriber, a subscriber’s client, or our internal users. It is a matrix that is overlaid on the basic database fabric.
Any transaction initiated by an advisor, is sent to the respective client’s mobile app for validation. The app login for clients itself is secured with biometric authentication, which ensures a maker-checker mechanism for each transaction.
What’s your take on all those fintech startups that are hustling still and haven’t gotten a ground?
We do believe that any start-up has to have an intrinsic problem that they are solving.
In the post COVID-19 era, it is important that this is re-looked at and analyse if the basic assumptions have changed. Having solid domain expertise, and the ability to execute is the other most important factor that determines success. We believe that the shake-up will happen not only for new start-ups but for existing ones as well. – it’s a tougher world today, with a lot more tough situations to be faced.
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