Pacing ahead to conquer the next-gen technology & drive business growth
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The future of the BFSI sector in India is about rekindling banking towards innovative models that are open and intelligent and can drive digital transformation in the right direction. Account aggregation is one such reliable approach that can address the issue from the ground up and add value to consumers’ data by making it more accessible. By pulling consumer’s financial data into one virtual warehouse, it would allow it to be plugged into any type of financial application.
What is the idea behind Account Aggregation (AA)?
Also known as financial data aggregation, AA as a process provides a paradigm shift in the way the consumer data can be used by the BFSI companies. By being able to collect and compile customers’ data from different financial sources like bank statements, credit card transactions, and business accounts into a single repertory, account aggregators can provide all the key information to the users on a single dashboard. By doing so, they can provide the customers with the convenience to browse all their critical financial information like checking, savings, CDs, brokerage accounts, etc., in one place.
How does it work?
An AA account will be completely interoperable, similar to how users today can make payment to any UPI address using any UPI-compatible client. For every successful data transfer (or transaction), the Financial Information Users (FIUs) will pay the Account Aggregators who facilitated the transfer.
Who are the Account Aggregators in India?
Account Aggregators are the ones who own the platforms that manage the aggregated data. In India, they are categorized as non-banking financial companies, and are regulated by RBI. By providing secure interfaces to their private financial data, they enable users to provide the consent required to authorize the sharing of information that travels from Financial Information Providers (FIPs) to the Financial Information Users (FIUs), via standardized API endpoints prescribed by RBI’s technology arm, REBIT.
How Account Aggregation can add value?
Similar to how a user’s email account is the hub of all our information, the account aggregation process can offer an even more granular assessment into all financial aspects of a person’s life from the financial point of view. For instance, with account aggregation in place, customers would no longer have to print their bank statement and self-attest it before sharing it with a lender. They can do it simply with the push of a button on the secure AA app. As cool as it sounds, the apps would allow the users to even choose data they would like to share with the lender.
How Account Aggregation is revolutionizing the BFSI sector in India
Banks, regulators, and corporates have all been collecting massive amounts of consumer data over the years. However, this data lies behind opaque silos, which they nor the consumers can adequately protect nor utilize. The DEPA protocol (Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture) is India’s account aggregation-based platform that creates a data-driven economy by exceeding the concept of ‘open banking’.
Through the DEPA protocol, the BFSIs in India can bring transparency and interoperability to our data. Users in India will have the ability to share our data securely and conveniently, resulting in many benefits to ourselves and our businesses. Similarly, Sahamati will play the role in DEPA that NPCI played in UPI.
As the process involves intelligent aggregation, cleansing, and augmentation of the consumer data, it would make the data behind the silos much more accessible to all the parties via the AA interface, while providing customers with improved visibility and control over their financial information.
The following are some of the primary reasons why banks and fin-service companies in India would need to adopt DEPA and Sahamati:
The data held by banks is too valuable and urgently needs to be freed up
Open banking would give consumers more control and choice over their financial service providers
By build products that generate real value for users, banks can get them to adopt it just as they have adopted UPI
Potential use cases of the data-sharing model
In India, Private and Public Sector Banks, NBFCs, Insurance Providers, Mutual Funds, and Asset Management companies are some of the primary major FIPs who will come onto the network. On the other hand, lenders, fintech companies like Wallets and Neobanks, Wealth Managers, Brokers, and Registered Investment Advisors are the primary FIUs.
IDFC First, SBI, Axis, Kotak, and IndusInd seem to be leading the way in terms of getting their API endpoints ready. The typical use cases would include:
Finance & Flow Lending : With AA-driven open-banking, users can securely and easily share their data with a lender through their preferred AA app. They can even choose the information they want to share - which is all about putting the users in control on how they want to make the most of their financial data. Also, all this will happen at a lower price because the API infrastructure has been created and enforced
Statements & Analytics : Users would be able to enjoy a consolidated view of their finances across all their accounts at one place - segregated into different categories like travel, food, recreation, etc.
Anonymized Data Aggregation : Users would also be able to anonymise and provide consent on their private data with specific companies in exchange for offers and discounts
Benefits of AA for banks and consumers
By connecting external data with the internal banking APIs and systems of records, Account aggregation can help banks to accelerate towards operational efficiency, and also provide several hard-to-beat benefits.
Innovative solutions : When banks have the complete picture of customers’ current financial standing, they can create much more personalized solutions to cater to their TG’s future aspirations
Improved productivity : Customer-facing staff can deliver better service and remain more productive with instant visibility into all customers’ accounts
Increased revenue : Banking institutions providing more personalized solutions through account aggregation are destined to earn more by increasing their average revenue per customer
Enhanced customer engagement : Improved consumer knowledge and personalization drives customer longevity and helps prevent account switching
How it can be the game changer for FIPs and FIUs
A digital banking platform built on enterprise open source can help FIPs and FIUs eliminate the barriers between customer engagement and back-office teams. Expert solutions providers like NSEIT and others can help banks and financial firms in India to get on the platform to harness the open banking solutions and optimize their capabilities to support customer engagement applications and deliver delightful customer experiences while prioritizing user consent at the same time.
As per the recent State of Enterprise Open Source Report, 93% of financial services organizations believe that open source technologies are strategically important for current and future plans, which shows the important role the solutions providers like NSEIT can play in their success. Read more about NSEIT offerings with respect to AA ecosystem, whether you are an FIP or FIU we have dedicated solution for you.
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