09th March 2023: The first-ever edition of India Fintech Conclave, presented by Moneycontrol wrapped up today at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai with prominent participants from the Indian Fintech industry. The inaugural conference gave a platform to the greatest minds from the finance and technology ecosystem, who brainstormed on the booming fintech sector. The event hosted big names like the Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology- Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Executive Director of RBI- Ajay Kumar Choudary, V Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO, IDFC First Bank along with other prominent policymakers, bankers, startup giants and other key stakeholders.
During the India Fintech Conclave, the Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar called for coordination between sectoral regulators and internet regulator in his opening speech “We certainly need to navigate a better way and improve the inter play between sectoral regulators and MeitY. We are working on it, we will soon figure out a better way in working within the government and we won’t let anything impact the entrepreneurs.” he said.
While talking about India, the minister said “India has gone from being a preeminent nation to a deeply eminent nation in using tech to transform people’s lives. Because of the expansion of cloud computing in India, we will soon have the largest server market in the world.”
“I believe Mumbai is the heart of entrepreneurship, out of the box economic activity.” the minister said in his speech.
The first session – “Fintech Innovation And Regulation: A Fine Balance” was a special fireside chat with Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India. The session highlighted Choudhry’s thoughts of creating a true balance between innovation and regulation and how it is always a challenge for regulators to regulate and introduce innovation.
“We are working on a framework for the fintech lending ecosystem. A committee has been formed for fintech regulation where we are talking about legal lending apps, are they part of the regulatory entity is the bigger part”, he said.
Talking about customer protection in fintech, Choudhary mentioned, “Customer protection is the most critical risk as far as fintech is concerned. Today the risk of loss to consumers is quite high. Data security and breaches is the second major risk factor for fintech enterprises. And regulators need to keep a watchful eye on the risks by fintechs and big techs to ensure customer safety.”
Commenting on India’s current financial system, he said, “The current financial system has been built by taking multitude of innovations on the way. Also, the focus on innovation in the financial sector and regulation is not new. Fintechs offer true balance between innovation and regulation.”
Another panel titled “Bits to Billions – The Zerodha Journey” featured the CEO and founder of Zerodha, Nithin Kamath, and Kailash Nadh, the CTO of Zerodha, who gave a bird’s eye view into their product ethos and their founding principles. The next session titled “Reimagining Banking in the Digital Era” was also a fireside chat with V Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO, IDFC First Bank. Sharing his thoughts on technology and its role in recent times, Vaidyanathan said, “Technology is a large waterfront with different aspects like AI, IoT, hyper personalisation etc. In the case of banking, it’s not a traditional product but a service that can take the form of electronification on multiple levels, like savings, investment through DEMAT account, insurance, payments etc. Hence, banking benefits directly from technology by latching onto new ecosystems and moving faster with time.”
The event was well-attended and included insightful panel discussions on “Future of Payments in India – Sustaining the Digital Payments Juggernaut” with notable participants like Harshil Mathur, the CEO and founder of Razorpay, Dilip Asbe, the CEO of NPCI, and Shinjini Kumar, the Founder and CEO of SALT App.
Talking about the future of UPI, Dilip Asbe, CEO of NPCI commented, “UPI has not yet reached its total potential, it has a long way to go, and it’s a journey. We have covered some milestones, but for a country like India, we should be doing 10x than this and it is not a hypothetical number. I believe within 2-3 years we will reach 1 billion a day transaction on UPI.” He further added, “During Covid time, many new players came on the UPI bandwagon and there are lot many players who are looking at it currently, for example, PayZapp is coming on UPI, CRED is live on UPI, and Slice is there. The next few years will rationalise the market share in terms of expanding the market and it won’t impact the growth of UPI.”
A panel titled “Digital Public Infrastructure: India Shows the Way”followed and featured Shalini Warrier, Executive Director of Federal Bank, T Koshy, CEO of ONDC, Sabyasachi Goswami, CEO of Perfios, and Nikhil Kumar, Co-Founder of Setu. When asked about account aggregators, Shalini Warrior mentioned, “Earlier there was a little scepticism around credit scores and CIBIL and now every bank uses the system extensively. If you take that forward now, there’s where account aggregators come in. An account aggregator is definitely the next UPI from the banking sector because it democratises the availability of creditors and the amount of information available in a manner that is non-threatening for the customer.”
The conclave concluded with two panels, the first being “Fintech and Markets: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape” which featured Subramanya SV, Co-Founder and CEO of Fisdom, Pravin Jadhav, Founder and CEO of Raise Financial Services, Prakarsh Gagdani, CEO of 5Paisa, Nikhil Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Grip, and Radhika Gupta, CEO of Edelweiss AMC. The second panel was focused on “Lending: The Next Big Fintech Frontier” and included Deena Jacob, Co-Founder and CFO of Open, Madhusudan E, Co-Founder and CEO of KreditBee, Gaurav Kumar, Founder and CEO of Yubi, and Shachindra Nath, Vice-Chairman and MD of UGRO Capital.
Striking a fine balance between fintech innovation and regulation, the evening concluded with various influential voices in the industry and beyond coming together to share meaningful insights. Watch the entire conclave on https://youtube.com/live/LPDcGgwQHDE