What are your thoughts on the current financial solutions landscape in India?
These are very exciting times for the financial solutions industry in India. Being tech savvy, customers are looking for hyper personalization, have infinite options, and want services instantly. Thus, financial institutions have to be agile to deliver and keep-up with the changing technologies. Everyone is rushing towards hyper innovation so that they can launch new products & services quickly and easily. Thus, financial institutions feel the burning need to anticipate user needs, analyze millions of data points and be the first to reach-out to customers with innovative product offerings.
The financial services industry is also making tremendous efforts and utilizing technology to reach the unbanked and those in remote geographies where financial services penetration is very limited. To handle the multiple dimensions such as hyper agility, hyper personalization, hyper connectivity with the ecosystem and hyper innovation, the need to create ‘The Digital Bank of Tomorrow? – Today’ is vital, and this can only be achieved through ‘True Digital Transformation’.
From an Indian context, how important are IP rights in the financial services space?
In the Indian financial services space, intellectual property (IP) rights hold great importance, especially considering the transformative impact of Digital Transformation. IP in financial services is extremely important, and vital for the creation and survival of innovation and protection of investments. Just like in the pharmaceutical industry, where an unprecedented amount of investment is vested into R&D to invent new life-saving drugs, huge investment is made into creating an efficient IP product catering to the financial services industry. Building an IP solution requires innovation, complete domain expertise and a forward-thinking outlook to create products that disrupt the current way of doing business. Hence, protection of IP is crucial and vital for protecting investments and innovation towards an outcome that delivers exceptional value and benefits.
What are some of the latest technologies currently disrupting the IP space, especially in the finance space?
Generative AI, Autonomic Systems and Privacy-Enhancing Computation are three technology trends gaining traction in banking and investment services. These technologies will help contribute to the top priority of FIs – growth, the need to manage risk, optimise costs and increase efficiency. Additionally, Composable Architecture and Total Experience are the top strategic technology trends gaining rapid momentum in banking and investment services. Banking CIOs today are aware that Composable Technologies, Hyper automation, AI to combat fraud, Conversational AI, Application Marketplace and Advanced Analytics are keys to building a strong technology foundation leading to ‘True Digital Transformation’ of an organisation. Technology products and solutions should have inbuilt capabilities to cater to these trends in order to stay competitive by enabling financial institutions to adapt effortlessly to the ever evolving landscape.
By the end of 2023, we can expect technology trends to continue to evolve, such as the increasing use of low-code platforms, emphasis on personalization, adaptation of payments, open banking, and increased focus on security. As per Gartner’s report on Strategic Planning Assumptions, by 2024, the design mantra for new SaaS and custom applications will be ‘composable API-first or API-only’, rendering traditional SaaS and custom applications ‘legacy’.
What role does the government and other regulatory bodies play in maintaining IP hygiene and improving the financial services ecosystem in India?
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has always acknowledged R&D and promotion of innovation as an integral part of the ICT ecosystem. Towards this, it has been supporting the entire value chain of R&D activities in the country ranging from the basic components to sophisticated product development in the ICT space. There are various initiatives and schemes being promoted by the government and other regulatory bodies for IP creation and protection.
How do you expect the Indian financial services space to evolve in the days to come?
In recent years, there has been a notable shift in how both consumers and businesses access financial services, driven by the widespread adoption of technology. This transformation has had a profound impact and resulted in exponential growth across multiple sectors. Despite this global trend, India lags behind when it comes to access to formal credit and insurance penetration especially to the lower strata of the society and to rural India. Traditional banks in India face challenges such as outdated infrastructure, product silos, and conservative management, making it difficult for them to keep-up with agile fintech companies. However, there is immense potential for disruption and improvement in sectors like payments, lending, insurance, and wealth management technology.
Another emerging trend is a three way partnership between traditional financial institutions, fintechs that provide niche solutions in a limited space and technology companies that have traditionally been providing robust backend solutions. Lastly, with the unprecedented increase in the incidents of cyber-attacks, especially on financial institutions, it is but natural that a significant proportion of investments would get diverted to securing the infrastructure and applications that power the financial services sector.