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 focus on the 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 in-house to ensure that these are changed at a rapid pace with the customer in focus. Outsourcing customer engagement channels is not advised.
Customers can come through websites, mobile applications, chat platforms, or partner platforms (through APIs). It would be critical for all services to be built as APIs and then a channel is built over that.
We have a plan for the following for building lending journeys for clients and partners:
- Customer Engagement Platform: This would the platform on which clients 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. The collection of the 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 additional services on our platform, we would get the right signals to offer new products / avoid delays in payment. This is the missing piece in most lending fintech as well. This is primarily due to the intense focus on the 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 building a comprehensive platform for engaging and servicing the partners. These partners may be digital lenders, fintech, 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 still be critical to building 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 a 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 use cases. It would be critical to building a dashboard/reports to ensure that both parties can settle transactions on a continuous basis. Even the FLDG settlement, as well as revenue sharing, should move from monthly manual reconciliation to a fully automated daily process.
- API Business Layer: This is the base layer of engagement between the lender and all external engagement partners including the 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