The year 2017 turned out to be a significant milestone in the financial history of the country, has had a decided impact on the Indian economy. As much as digital technology pervades our personal and professional lives, it has also started to transform our financial lives. Overall, the mood is positive, with GDP growth jumping back to 6.3% in Q2, 2017, riding on the back of better consumerism aided by government reform. And with all this 2018 appears to be an exciting phase for consumer lending.
A Look Back into 2017
Standardisation, digitalisation and regulation were the key themes in India’s financial story of 2017. The big move of demonetisation seems to be making a positive mark as it continues to give impetus to the cashless economy in the form of e-wallets and other digital financial means. Another regulatory measure to control tax evasion was the Aadhaar card being made mandatory for opening new banks accounts and for carrying out transactions above INR 50,000.
This amendment to the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 is a step towards standardisation and providing a visible digital identity, thereby promoting transparency in financial transactions. Another factor that is pushing financial transparency is the rise of Fintech and the subsequent new-age companies that are offering digital avenues for finance such as payment platforms, blockchain companies, alternative financers like P2P lenders and so on.
New service providers are making available opportunities to consumers by way of creating access and affordability.
Profiling the Indian Consumer
What is encouraging is that the Indian consumer is rising to this opportunity. Increasing affluence in terms of disposable income, a range of options for career & personal advancement, and a propensity to experiment & be open to new avenues defines the modern Indian consumer. People are no longer content with traditional mechanisms.
They are willing to explore and experiment, and acceptance of change is high, thanks to globalisation and privatisation. Having access to information at one’s fingertips is encouraging people to make informed decisions and this extends to financial decisions.