Platforms – Think Client First
Before the arrival of Fintechs, the lending in Banks and NBFCs was merely focused on automation of back office processes like loan account opening, disbursal and collections. There was limited focused on simplification of customer onboarding, underwriting and engagement. Interestingly, I recently had a discussion with a leading bank focused on turnaround time from lead generation to disbursement for SME / Corporate loans. I realized that even now the process of anything above 50 lakhs is largely manual and turn around time is upwards of 30 days.
To make life simple for the clients, we have to focus on building engaging journeys for clients and partners. All customer channels should ideally be developed inhouse to ensure that these are changed at rapid pace with customer in focus. Outsourcing customer engagements channels is not advised.
Customers can come through website, mobile application, chat platform or partner platforms (through APIs). It would be critical for all services to be built as APIs and then channel is built over that.
We have plan for the following first::
- Customer Engagement Platform: This would the platform on which client would be applying for loans as well as getting services. It would be important for the platform to provide basics like:
- Quick onboarding: We cannot expect the customer to fill hundreds of fields. We have to find ways to ensure that customer does not take more than 3 to 8 min to fill the full form end to end. Much of the data can be collected from the documents that the customer would be uploading into the platform. Collection of right documents and flows will ensure that we reject the customer upfront if we cannot service the client.
- Customer Insights: We have to create frameworks for getting customer insights post disbursement. Ideally, if we have provisioned for additional services on our platform, we would get right signals to offer new products / avoid delays in payment. This is the missing piece in most lending fintechs as well. This is primarily due to intense focus on disbursement of loans rather than on customer engagement and cross sell.
- Partner Platform: Given the need to partner with the ecosystem, it would be critical to build comprehensive platform for engaging and servicing the partners. These partners may be digital lenders, fintechs, ecommerce platforms etc. . It would be important for the platform to provide basics like:
- Quick Partner Onboarding: Like customers, even our partners expect seamless onboarding journeys. While a lot of engagement may be through offline channels, it may be still be critical to build this journey, when we are looking for scalable partnerships.
- Full Customers Sales & Service APIs: Most lenders offer just Customer Onboarding APIs to Partners. It would be critical to offer customer servicing APIs as well
- Partnership Dashboard / Reports: We have seen enough friction between partners due to lack of automation around interest accruals, charges, disbursement, collections, NPAs etc. It is even more challenging in the case of FLDG settlement as well as Co-lending usecases. It would be critical to build dashboard / reports to ensure that both parties can settle transactions on continuous basis. Even the FLDG settlement as well as revenue sharing should move from monthly manual reconciliation to fully automated daily process.
- API Business Layer: This is the base layer of engagement between the lender and all external engagement partners including lender’s own mobile app. This layer would have comprehensive APIs required to
- Onboard the customers
- Service the customers
- Onboard all types of Partners
- Service all types of Partners
- Integrate with third party data providers and processors including banks
In the next blog, we will focus on another critical component – Loan Origination System
Sameer Singh Jaini