At 87%, India has the highest number of fintech adopters compared to a global average of 64%
CM.com enables fintech players to improve communications across mobile channels and websites
One of its clients, Onlia, says CM.com’s chatbot recognises up to 70% of customer queries and handles more than 1,200 customer questions per week
Digital payments in India are no longer the domain of the urban tech-savvy. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and movement restrictions drove millions of people to cashless convenience, and the trend has permeated every sector.
According to Inc42’s latest report titled the State Of Consumer Internet In India, Q3 2022, more than 305 Mn Indians currently use various modes of digital payments. Another report by PhonePe and BCG suggests that digital payments in India will more than triple to $10 Tn by 2026 from the current value of $3 Tn.
Experts also believe that innovation in the digital payment space can pave the way for financial inclusion in the country. At 87%, India has the highest number of fintech adopters compared to a global average of 64%.
The less-cash economy is mainly driven by the government’s UPI push and a supportive regulatory framework. In addition, the country’s BFSI sector and new-age fintech startups have put their best foot forward to cater to the growing user base. From consumer credit concepts like BNPL (buy now, pay later) to instant microloans and customised insurance plans, the players in the ecosystem are doing it all to unlock new opportunities and amplify customer experience.
Although India’s fintech ecosystem is buoyed by better growth prospects and enabling technologies, much of it is deeply fragmented and often struggles to cope with customer acquisition and retention challenges. In a previous conversation, Yashoraj Tyagi, CBO and CTO of Mumbai-based lendingtech startup CASHe, explained these hurdles to Inc42.
“The millennial and the Gen Z cohorts are managing a disconnected portfolio of providers, apps, virtual cards and banking accounts. But it does not result in a seamless experience, thus making customer retention more challenging,” he added.
According to Deepika Christina, manager of customer experience at CM.com (India Hub), fintechs can navigate the customer experience maze with ease if data is put to good use and leveraged for personalising a customer’s journey.
“A lot of customer data is extracted by financial companies. But it is not harnessed to unlock the potential of personalised customer support, which may result in great CX. Data can eliminate friction, improve the relevance and speed up customer access to desired results,” said Christina.
A global cloud software firm for conversational commerce, CM.com began its journey as an SMS aggregator for its BFSI clients and then diversified its offerings for the personalisation space. Earlier, the company told Inc42 that its tech stack could help ecommerce brands improve conversions by 30%.
Now the global company is focussing on India’s fintech ecosystem. It will offer fintech firms and other players in the financial services industry a tech-driven way to reach customers across various touchpoints such as WhatsApp, email and SMS to help them proactively engage with customers, resolve queries and assist in onboarding.
Customer Engagement Leads To Better CX
“Customers don’t just want to call customer service, jump apps or send email messages that may never be answered. They want support to browse through available services and make purchases right from a chat,” said Christina.
CM.com’s solutions include chatbots; the Mobile Marketing Cloud, a multichannel engagement solution on mobile messaging channels like SMS and WhatsApp, and the Mobile Service Cloud, an all-in-one chatbox to enable support agents to answer customer queries on different mobile channels from a single place.
Here is a case in point. Canada-based digital car insurance startup Onlia partnered with CM.com for its telematics-based app Onlia Sense to promote safe driving. The app offers cashbacks and other rewards for the same and helps people manage their policies if it is linked to their insurance schemes.
The objective is simple. It is about promoting customer engagement and responding to customer queries quickly and effectively. To do so, Onlia leveraged CM’s conversational AI cloud, a tool to build chatbots and voicebots on company apps and websites.
“We wanted to serve customers in an always-on capacity but also maintain a human touch. Ideally, consumers don’t realise that they are communicating with a chatbot,” said Anouk van de Laar, customer experience manager at Onlia.
The digital assistant bot, operational on the app and the website, signs in customers, answers their questions and helps with upselling. Onlia claims that the bot handles more than 1,200 customer questions per week and recognises up to 70% of these queries.
Onlia is among the many fintech companies CM.com has helped with its conversational commerce solutions. Other clients include South Africa-based financial service provider Hello Paisa, B2B gold buyer Cash for Gold USA, UK-based Radius Payment Solutions and more.
Mobile Messaging Channels Are Critical For B2C Communications
“Conversations on messaging channels have become an integral part of human lives. We are communicating with our friends and families on WhatsApp, day in and day out. Increasingly, we are seeing that people want the same ease of communication with businesses, too,” said Christina.
Hello Paisa’s Moosa Manjra (he is also the CEO at Hello Group) corroborated with the same. “Our customers already use WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends in other countries. Now they can directly send money to these relatives. They can initiate a transaction and request a callback or speak to an agent via WhatsApp,” he added.
From pre-boarding to easy onboarding to retention, CM.com’s tech stack ensures that all communications across mobile channels and websites will provide a seamless customer experience.
“The customer does not wish to be forced to use a particular touchpoint. They want options to buy and interact with their banks without compromising the quality of service” added Christina.
Is India Undergoing A Financial Metamorphosis?
India’s fintech economy is one of the fastest-growing, with the market opportunity estimated to reach $1.3 Tn by 2025, according to Inc42 data. Overall, fintech was the most funded sector in H1 2022 — raising $3.4 Bn across 159 funding deals, despite the funding winter.
But this trend does not indicate a play-safe investment strategy on the part of institutional investors. Instead, the country is seeing a quick makeover in the BFSI sector, and fintech is playing a critical role in setting up a digital foundation that can form a core part of the global financial system. This, in turn, brings in multifold benefits way beyond sheer consumer convenience. Think of financial inclusion, substantial cost savings for businesses and reduced risks of cash misappropriation. One can easily gauge the massive opportunity ushered in by the rise of Indian fintech. Better still, there will be a wealth of real-time and historical financial data to drive strategic planning and decision-making.
India is now home to more than 2,300 registered fintech startups, and many of these businesses are looking at Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations for their next growth journey. After all, these non-metro regions emerged as the fintech hotbeds when Bharat consumers broke the digital glass ceiling in a post-Covid world. Now the spotlight is on a collaborative play among incumbents and private fintech players and how they leverage enablers like CM.com to transform the face of financial services for good.