GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Pratik Adani, CTO at Samco Securities Limited
In Fintech like in other things, we all have a responsibility to make sure that every users’ financial Data is under their control and privacy is given utmost importance emphasis Pratik Adani, CTO at Samco Securities Limited in this quick chat with GlobalFintechSeries where he talks about how new innovators will become market leaders in the near-future. Catch the complete QnA.
How have you seen the global fintech sector (and specifically the APAC region) being impacted by Covid-19; what are some of the long-term effects of the pandemic on the future of fintech according to you?
I think everyone was shaken up with the initial shock of COVID-19 and the immediate responses that governments took across the world. While some of countries were not too much affected like Singapore and most of Southeast Asia countries along with Australia and New Zealand, the biggest loser was India.
Things like remote working, remote meetings, Digital banking, Contactless payments are now here to stay. Also most of the companies will invest heavily in a cloud infrastructure for the future.
How are you seeing leading fintechs innovate and meet changing business needs during this time?
Luckily for most of the Fintechs it was more of a challenge of how to manage scale and growth since the “Tech” in Fintech got an accelerated push and was one of the lucky sectors which has seen tremendous growth in the past 6 months. Unlike other sectors which were fighting to survive the fintech sector got lucky as most of the customers started using technology to get access and avoid any physical contact, for e.g most of the brick and mortar stores and vegetable vendors in under banked communities preferred cashless transactions thus causing a surge in payment wallets usage.
Similarly our Broking industry saw a great influx of new customers who had some savings but no business due to lockdown and wanted to make some money in markets. So I think for businesses like ours the challenges were of different nature, We were faced with issues like how to quickly procure and scale our Cloud Infrastructure so as to service this additional load. We were trying to remotely recruit and onboard new employees and that was one of the biggest challenge during the first few weeks of April 2020. For now things are much more settled and much more stable.
What are some of the key areas within fintech (digital banking, payments) that will face a spurt in demand and new innovations in the short term as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and changing market trends?
Digital banking, Neo Banking and Payments are obviously going to do really well in next few years. But I also believe sectors like Wealth Management, Lending, insurance are all going to see great amount of digital transformation as well as large number of customers who would want to easily do all of these from their phones or laptops. One area that might surprise all of us is Crypto Currency and Blockchains, I think it is a dark horse which might really become a winner in next few years. As far as disruption goes, I feel that Cards both Debit and Credit cards are going to face a tough time and are going to get disrupted either by their wallets or neo banks or some startup looking at replacing them.
Could you share your observations on how you’ve seen fintechs introduce sophisticated capabilities powered by AI/ Big Data/ Machine Learning: what are your thoughts on the impact of these technologies in the marketplace?
In terms of real life application of AI/ML in fintech industry the best use has been put in customer onboarding. I see a lot of fintech companies using document scanning and OCR along with ML to get customers to quickly verify their documents and identity and get their KYC done in matter of minutes. I think this is a great disruption compared to what has been happening in past 2-3 years. Companies have also started analyzing credit card statements, bank statements with help of Big Data and ML to understand users behavior pattern and help them make the right decision or avoid unnecessary charges. According to me it is very important to use AI/ML and big data in a very non-invasive way so that customers do not even realize that AI or ML was being used, the companies who excel in this will be clear winners. I see few companies doing some great work in making sure that financial data is protected and secured with help of ML.
Given the overview of what fintech looks like today in 2020 and this evolving space: how would you describe this market over the next decade?
Decade is a long time, I think next 3 years are going to be a great boost to the Fintech industry. Major innovations and disruptions are going to happen in next 5 years. We are going to see new players become market leaders and the current market leaders either mimic the new comers or buy them off to keep competing. Banking, payments and Wealth management are going to see major changes.
Before we wrap up, would you like to share a few finance management or business tips for Marketing and Sales or Finance teams struggling through this uncertain time due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
More than ever customer support and satisfaction are going to be of utmost importance. The companies that treat their customers the best are going to come out on top. I think for most companies 2020 and some part of 2021 will be survival mode and it is very important for the companies and their employees to understand that this is absolutely Ok. Adapting to change and making yourself up to date with latest trends is going to be very important. Unlearning old ways and learning new ways as Jeff Bezos says is now more relevant than ever before.
And lastly, a few top global fintechs to watch out for!
Stripe, Coinbase, Revoult, Pliad , Square and in India NPCI, Pine Labs and of course Samco!
SAMCO is a low cost, technology-driven stock broker with memberships across all leading stock and commodity exchanges in India including BSE, NSE, MCX-SX, MCX and NCDEX. Clients can place orders on SAMCO’s platforms to buy or sell securities and their orders will receive the best possible trade execution. SAMCO operates with a simple idea of using Technology to radically change the way customer’s trade.
Pratik is a technology and Finance enthusiast and CTO at SAMCO for 5 years. He loves building products that require scale of million or more customers. He has been a key catalyst in several change management efforts across companies; revamped and reoriented resource and process structures and brought about significant increase in productivity, client satisfaction and business.