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Expectations From UI/UX Startups In India's Digital Journey To Financial Inclusion

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Expectations From UI/UX Startups In India's Digital Journey To Financial Inclusion

Neeraj Kumar, Product Head for MSME Vertical at Muthoot Fincorp, 0

With 15 years of experience in Product Management, Corporate Strategy, Retail Business Management and Process Management in key financial sectors like stock broking services, third party distribution, commercial vehicle loan, secured & unsecured business loan, Neeraj specializes in product development and product strategies for MSME loans in micro segment.

As per estimates there is up to 10 percent penetration in exposure to financial market against an average of 90 percent in developed economies. This can be attributed to the weak financial literacy and lack of information on the products available in the market and risks associated to them.

There have been substantial developments in the current decade wherein a large set of data is now available in digital form from various government agencies like, Road Transport Authorities, Provident funds, Digital KYC, GST data, Pan Data, Credit behavioral data from various agencies like Credit Information Companies and others.

This has made easier for the technology firms to aggregate these data and provide the same as service to enable speedy decision through digital matrices. This will not only help in faster analysis of the customer behavior but also guide the customer through robotics, AI through technology. Over the period as more and more data is built up by these applications, more customized services can be developed with the help of self-learning and AI.

Over last few years, several developments have happened in the Fintech community to ensure the smooth flow of services. A smooth journey of customer onboarding and customer engagement onto platform is need of the hour. How smoothly customer interacts with the application and can perform the desired transactions seamlessly, would result into the success of the platform.

As there are number of applications providing similar services, it becomes pertinent that the service levels are raised continuously, and value-added services and User experience is enhanced on daily basis.

Development of UI/UX for a platform is not one-time activity, but a continuous one. Key to achieve success is to first identify the target customers or target, would be customers by understanding country’s demography, literacy parameters, preferences of the financial services. These parameters form key basic design of the product and development based on the target customers. Multiple solution for multiple customer segment would be very difficult to pick up and would not serve any purpose.

Over the last decade a lot of progress have been made due to increased data speed with lower costs, making the services easily accessible to customers through internet over phone and computers.

Social media apps like WhatsApp, Facebook have been able to penetrate geographically breaking the barriers of language and computer literacy. However, Fintechs have also been successful in reaching out to urban population of Tier-II/ Tier -III cities. Fintechs, to be successful must depend upon the banking penetration as functioning without banks would not be easily achievable. Government has been helping on banking services by offering licenses for payments bank and small finance banks.

Basic UI/UX features of an application cannot be successful by just replicating another product, Except for the actual customer, no one else can define the needs for
them. It is important to continuously engage with the target customers and understand their need to define the UI/ UX for the segment. Only UI/ UX design or attractiveness may not solve the purpose as customer may be onboarded with the attractive design, however, to keep him engages through UX is the journey which must be carefully designed. There is no perfect design, it is a continuous development activity which would keep the pace with changing expectation of customers and market competition.

UI should be clear, concise, responsive & efficient to ensure best user experience. Built in flexibility to navigation through the application by customers with various understanding of the product will be helpful.

These should not only provide service, but also be able to educate the customer of the products it services will be helpful. A lot of investment is required by the companies to enable digitization of financial services by educating the unbanked population and bringing them under the formal financial network.

Several startups have successfully launched their services in financial markets for broking, investing in mutual funds/FDs, payment wallets, and others. However, the concentration of these apps remain in metros and tier-1 cities wherein financial literacy is higher and existing customers participating / transacting in the financial sector are moving to these applications. Substantial addition of the new customer by way of reaching out to them, educating them of the services and on boarding is debatable.

Customer service is the key to any product or services, a user would prefer a manual help instead of AI assisted help or reaching out to the service provider on mail and wait for response


Customer service is the key to any product or services, a user would prefer a manual help instead of AI assisted help or reaching out to the service provider on mail and wait for response. Easily accessible customer service helps in giving a feeling of reachability to the customer and give confidence to test the application. Today most of the platforms lack on servicing part, which bothers the customer in first part.

Currently increasing trends of usage in new age applications in financial services sector may be attributed to adoption of technology by Gen-X, Gen-Y and millennial. As the time passes the user base would increase leading to higher adoption of technology in these services. Customers in these generations are ready to experiment, adapt and they look forward to more features to satisfy their needs.

Customer in the higher age range may be reluctant to shift to new technology due to low belief on the improved processes. The need of personalized services drives this segment of customers, which cannot be easily done away with. When it comes to money, technological advancements do not give enough comforts to this generation.

In nutshell, UI/UXs being created through these start-ups need to look at larger picture of financial inclusion into banking, corporate fund raising, equity markets, commodity markets, various bonds, finance companies and others. There is a need to fill the gap existing between the markets and populations which needs to fill in to ensure inclusive growth of the country by way of resourceful mobilization of funds and help the needy to grow by supporting through formal financial institutions. The development on this part need to be inclusive and for masses to ensure minimum cost of delivering the financial products across the country.

Next decade is the decade of millennial and addition of much advanced workforce into the fintech segment and new and improved experiences would be developed through continuously developing technology, developing data sets and developing economy with digital connect.

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