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Small Finance Banks – The quest for technology-led differentiation

Since their inception, Small Finance Banks (SFBs) have been primed as a vital cog for the last mile credit and service delivery for the MSMEs, farmers, and unorganized sector units, helping to bridge the $240 billion credit gap for the underserved segment.

Naveen Gupta, Senior Product Owner, Tagit
Naveen Gupta, Senior Product Owner, Tagit

By Naveen Gupta, Senior Product Owner, Tagit

These Small Finance Banks have a robust base of borrowers with small credit needs. The banks so far have been reasonably successful in serving their priority segment and are now looking to establish their presence in the commercial banking space by evolving beyond a credit-only institution to a diversified financial institution.

In today’s environment, SFBs are facing twin challenges. Where, from one end, the FinTechs are grabbing their market share using innovation and new technologies and at the other end incumbents’ banks are blocking their market access with their size.

To compete with them, SFBs must step up their game. They need to look beyond rate strategy (providing higher interest rates on CASA and deposits as compared to the incumbent banks) and build a robust, sustainable differentiation built around their primarily intended high-technology, low-cost model.

Born on the cusp of the digital era, Small Finance Banks do not come with the baggage of legacy technology. Though they don’t have the capital to match the technology spends of their incumbent peers, the unbundling of the banking technology stack and ecosystem driven collaborative innovation – courtesy API economy and open systems – presents a great opportunity for them to undertake a phased, yet fast leap towards digital transformation, all the while keeping IT spends under control.

SFBs must focus on:

  1. Implementing digital channels for banking services: Banks can use digital platforms such as mobile apps, online banking portals, and social media to provide customers with convenient and secure access to their accounts, transactions, and other banking services.
  2. Enhancing security: Banks can use advanced security measures such as biometrics, encryption, and multi-factor authentication to protect customer data and prevent fraud.
  3. Partnering with fintech: Banks can collaborate with fintech companies to access new technologies and innovative products and services to enhance their digital capabilities.
  4. Investing in digital infrastructure: Banks can invest in modernizing their IT infrastructure to enable better data management, improved scalability, and enhanced security.
  5. Providing digital financial education: Banks can use digital platforms to educate customers about financial literacy and digital banking services.
  6. Improving data management: Banks can use big data and analytics to gain insights from customer data and use it to improve product offerings, target marketing, and personalize the customer experience.

With the right technology transformation strategy powered by smart investments and careful roadmap considerations, Small Finance Banks can grow their business and achieve sustainable differentiation while keeping costs under check.

Banks need to ensure that they have the right partners for their digital transformation. Partners having plenty of digital transformation experience in the Indian market can help transform SFBs with the right speed and scale without impacting existing business and thereby enabling the SFBs in their journey of expanding market share and revenue.

Banks should collaborate with Digital transformation partners like Tagit who have platform-led solutions, provide more value in the long term, ensure that solutions are future-ready, and services delivered are secured and scalable.

With the right mix of products, SFB can successfully transform to a universal bank, increasing their market presence fending competition from new age fintechs and other banks and bringing more value to their stockholders. Tagit can help Small Finance Banks in increasing their customer base and revenue and enhancing customer loyalty with new and innovative features.

Tagit has been helping banks in India in their digital initiatives by providing best-in-class digital solutions alongside a holistic digital roadmap.

CategoriesAnalytics IBSi Blogs IBSi Flagship Offerings Payments

The gateway to success: Why businesses shouldn’t underestimate the importance of payment gateways   

Bob Kaufman
By Bob Kaufman CEO of ConnexPay

It can be very easy for businesses to assume that payment gateways come as standard and that one will do the job as well as the next, but nothing could be further from the truth. It shouldn’t be underestimated how important this juncture in the customer’s journey is, with many getting all the way to this point and then abandoning their cart because the process isn’t intuitive enough or, in some cases, downright confusing.

By Bob Kaufman CEO of ConnexPay 

In this article, I’ll explore specifically what payment gateways are and what businesses should be on the lookout for to ensure they are using the best one possible.

What are payment gateways?

Payment gateways are the virtual equivalent of a point-of-sale system, allowing customers to pay for goods and services online from anywhere in the world, using a variety of payment methods. When done right, the end product makes it straightforward and convenient for customers to purchase goods, helping a business to grow its sales figures.

The best payment gateways are flexible and user-friendly, offering a variety of payment methods. They should be easy to integrate with any website and offer strong security features to protect customers’ financial information. When choosing a payment gateway, it is important to consider a business’s specific needs. If a business sells physical goods, it will need a gateway that supports credit cards and debit cards. If it sells digital goods, it may also need a gateway that supports PayPal or other digital wallets. Regardless of whether you sell physical goods or electronic goods, you need to offer multiple payment options.

The experience should be intuitive for the customer 

If a customer in a store needs to wait for an extended period of time because the cashier doesn’t know how the cash register works, there is every chance the store will lose that sale. The intuitiveness of payment gateways is just as important. The interface should be user-friendly and the process of accepting payments should be simple and straightforward.

Equally, the process needs to work smoothly internally. A business’s finance team needs to be able to navigate its payment gateway’s user portal without any hassle to access financial information and customer purchase data. Information on customers’ payment processing fees, chargebacks and transaction are all included in this. A merchant being able to access this data and make meaningful sense of it is dependent on the payment gateway being easy to use, with intuitive navigation.

Actionable reporting and analysis

In addition to a user-friendly experience, another important feature to look for in a payment gateway is comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities. A good payment gateway will provide a business with a payment management dashboard that gives them easy access to payment data. This data can be used to generate reports and insights that can help a business improve sales and marketing efforts.

For example, a robust payment gateway can use reporting and analytics to track sales and purchases, identify trends, and see which products or services are most popular with customers. A business can also use this data to improve its customer service by identifying areas where it can enhance the checkout process or provide better support. By taking advantage of reporting and analytics, businesses can make better decisions and improve its bottom line.

Better safe than sorry 

Security is an essential aspect of the payment process. Customers need to feel confident that their purchases are safe, and businesses need to protect themselves from fraud, theft, and cyberattacks. As security technology evolves, so do the methods of cybercriminals. Therefore, payment gateways must be modern, sophisticated, and compliant with industry standards. They must be able to mitigate risks, reduce fraud, and accept legitimate transactions while flagging risky ones.

An integrated solution 

Traditional payment systems are often siloed, which means that merchants must use multiple systems to manage their payments. This can be inefficient and time-consuming, and it can also lead to issues with data accuracy. A payment gateway that integrates with other business software can help to solve these problems. By integrating its payment gateway with its accounting software, inventory management system, and CRM, a business can get a single view of all payments. This will save time, improve data accuracy, and make it easier to track financial performance.

Enhancing customer support 

Success depends on a business making sales, and sales rely on customers making payments. For payments to be made as easily and conveniently as possible, a business’s payment gateway needs to be reliable and efficient. If any technical issues or other problems arise, they need to be resolved quickly so that payments can continue to be made to the business without delay.

Effective customer support is essential for ensuring that a payment gateway is always up and running. Businesses need to be able to get help when they need it, quickly and easily. Look for a payment gateway that offers superb customer support, with clear instructions on how to contact support staff.

Making the right choice

Choosing the right payment gateway is an important decision for any business. Each of these factors is as important as the last. By prioritising all of them and seeking out a solution that facilitates them, a business can achieve their online payment goals and grow their business.

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