Mumbai-headquartered Kotak Mahindra Bank, in association with NASSCOM, has launched a new collaborative platform for startups, with a special focus on fintech startups. Dubbed as the Kotak Payment Co-creation Programme, the platform will build an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation for startups in the digital payments space.
As part of the programme, selected startups will get access to mentorship as well as a chance to work with Kotak’s Innovation Lab. Additionally, they will have the opportunity for a pilot launch.
Speaking at the launch, Deepak Sharma, Chief Digital Officer of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “At Kotak Mahindra Bank, we believe that innovation is a collaborative process. The Kotak Innovation Lab evaluates and works closely with a number of startups to co-create unique solutions across diverse areas in banking and finance. The Kotak Payment Co-creation Programme is a focused value-driven programme for digital payments.”
“Through this initiative, mature fintech startups with disruptive ideas can pitch their offerings, and get a chance to work with Kotak’s Innovation Lab in co-creating innovative payment products. Such a programme will help further develop a mature ecosystem for fintech-bank partnerships,” Sharma added.
To participate in the programme, startups will have to undergo a rigorous evaluation process. Subsequently, shortlisted fintech companies will present their solutions to a team comprising technology and digital leaders at the bank.
Commenting on the development KS Viswanathan, Vice President-Industry Initiatives at NASSCOM stated, “Technology has been one of the key drivers of the financial services industry. In recent years, startups have disrupted the landscape with solutions that have made our lives easier. NASSCOM and Kotak have a shared passion in supporting startups and the fintech sector in the country.”
The aim of the programme is to support and strengthen the country’s emerging fintech startups by fostering tech-enabled innovations, Viswanathan added.
Earlier in August 2016, Kotak Mahindra Bank launched an ‘Innovation Lab’ in Bengaluru, geared towards assisting fintech startups through mentorship and funding.
Kotak Mahindra Bank is also one of the anchor partners in the 10000 StartUps initiative – a startup incubation programme by the government with an objective to create 10,000 domain-specific startups in the country by 2020.
How Indian Banks Are Supporting Fledgeling Tech Startups
Other banks like SBI, YES Bank and HDFC are also actively trying to bolster the Indian startup ecosystem. Last year, the State Bank of India launched its first exclusive startup bank branch in Bengaluru – SBI InCube, which is a specialised branch that deals with the banking needs of startups.
After launching SmartUp, a dedicated banking solution for startups in March 2016, reports surfaced in November last year that HDFC Bank was in process of launching a fund for startups with an initial corpus of $25 Mn-$30 Mn.
Around the same time, it extended its SmartUp Zones initiative to Bengaluru. SmartUp banking solution along with the SmartUp Zones initiatives reflect the bank’s objective to harness the potential of the startups and fintech ecosystem using a multi-pronged approach.
A month later, the bank announced a partnership with Rajasthan Government to promote and nurture startups in the state. Under this partnership, HDFC Bank is providing end-to-end solutions like current accounts, credit cards and other solutions to startups under its SmartUp programme.
YES Bank, on the other hand, has a fintech startup accelerator, YES FINTECH. The accelerator strives to support fintech startups operating in the country.