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5 things to lookout for in 2021

5 things to look out for in 2021

Change is the only constant, and now that we have lived through what’s undoubtedly been the most unpredictable year of our lives. I would say it is imperative that from our experiences in 2020, we learn, unlearn and relearn to be stronger individuals in 2021.

Demand for Fintech solutions has intensified as it has brought comfort and ease to everyone. This makes the Fintech space crucial to all, and moreoever, it has a promising future to look forward to.

So, what will the industry look like in 2021? Here are a few things to look out for in the Fintech ecosystem:

Focus on People – The best Customer Experience in Fintech is the most powerful factor for customer acquisition. Fintech are making moves towards modes through which customers can easily control their transactions with just a click — for example, by opening digital accounts and completing the entire process over the internet. Hence giving rise to digital banks all across the nation. The Fintech industry in 2021 will cut the distance between people and technology. Even more than ever before.

Open Banking – Banks under this can share information of their clients securely to a third party. This will help banks approach more Fintechs to help digitize their processes. Going ahead with these partnerships would lead customers to avail of a more systemized and seamless digital banking experience, thereby promoting a more creative economy and carving a path towards a more financially inclusive India through digital. Cooperation between banks and Fintech companies will intensify. Traditional financial establishments need agility and technology. The two worlds will collide, and to my mind, this Fintech outlook for 2021 is amongst the momentous ones.

Payment Innovations – During the pandemic, a lot of enterprises engaged in product and process innovations to achieve both — greater customer-centricity and ability to handle huge disruptions. Payment innovations in Fintech have multiple mechanisms. These are mobile payments, contactless payments, mobile wallets, smart speaker systems, etcetera. There is likely to be high adoption of these, which in turn should result in a significant number of innovations in the payments space. Indeed, Global Market Insights, Inc., estimates that contactless payment market size will cross USD 100 billion by 2026. This change will likely occur mainly because of the Gen Z’s who are more accepting of and who favour digital transformation, technology and drive innovation in payments. Gen Zs are on top of this technology-driven change as they are earlier adopters of this change and the future too.

Security– Transactions are moving online and consumers are using their smartphones. This helps add greater security to both, transactions and online banking, with the help of biometrics. We log onto our phones securely through a fingerprint scanner or faceID; these concepts have given rise to added security for your account, and help reduce susceptibility to fraud or hackers. This helps Fintech companies integrate added security,  and therefore, one looks forward to 2021 enabling even secure transactions between parties.

Disruptive Technology – The most important aspect to look out for in 2021 would be disruptive technology undertaken by various organisations in the sector — in the form of Neo banking, AI, IoT, Machine learning, etcetera. This, because there is a constant demand for innovative ways to conduct activities. We, as an organisation, are moving towards Neo banking; we believe it will disrupt the market this year due to the increased demand of technology-driven banking. The entrance of Blockchain Technology will make further noise all over the world. The global Blockchain market is expected to grow from USD 3.0 billion in 2020 to USD 39.7 billion by 2025 — at an effective Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 67.3% during 2020–2025.

Above everything else, the Fintech industry for 2021 will focus on people and on the needs of the customers. We are likely to see massive adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and a data-driven approach. I believe Fintech is set to transform the financial sector in multiple ways by easier account setups and no-fuzz transactions, and should also provide a strong boost to eCommerce everywhere.

How faster payments and smaller remittances can wipe out any frictions for smaller businesses

How faster payments and smaller remittances can wipe out any frictions for smaller businesses

The economic impact of the pandemic has created a need for new and frictionless payment gateways for businesses to keep running. Small businesses, given the economic slump, have been hit the hardest because of disruption in cash flow. Very few have the resources to endure and keep running without an operating cash flow. Such businesses need prompt payments from their clients to continue functioning smoothly. However, traditional methods like paper checks can take several days/ weeks to arrive by mail.

The complexity of the current environment has seen B2B payments gain a substantial leeway. With technological advancements, banks are too trying to develop consistent and reliable means of transactions that are instant, real- time, safe and ubiquitous, in order to keep businesses running.

Companies are on a steady path to abandoning traditional paper-bound methods and embracing simplified digital transactions. Easy, technology-driven payments apps and gateways, are streamlining fund transfers to businesses and vendors. Real-time payment methods that can fast-track the flow of funds are valuable to vendors that need to get compensated in a timelier manner.

Not to mention, a business, to continue running their day to day operation, needs to be remunerated even for small variable costs, whether the amount is big or small. Avoiding small remittances can prove to be harmful for the day to day of a business. Small value transactions,  is what keeps the economy of a business running. However, the point of friction here is higher charges and geographical barriers. The buyer comes to a standstill because to make a small value remittance, one may need to incur an unexplainable high-cost, also facing the hindrance of a minimum threshold each money transfer services sets for transfer of money. A working solution needs to be in place for small value remittances, considering the digital shift caused by the pandemic.

The frictions associated with paper checks and cash-based transactions have put some businesses under added stress during the pandemic, but digital tools can help turn that around. Payers and payees that have become accustomed to a more rapid pace of transactions are not likely to give up on the convenience and ease and go back to older, slower means, thus leaving the day to day of a business entirely up to ubiquitous B2B payment platforms.

My Leadership Mantra

My Leadership Mantra

Leadership is a very subjective concept. Ask a hundred people about what leadership is, and you’ll receive a hundred different answers. Many define leadership as possessing a business acumen, like setting goals for the organization and achieving them. A lot of people also think of leadership as having human qualities like humility and empathy. There can be no wrong answers. Each leader differs in their style of leading and influencing, which also greatly determines the culture and the overall direction of the company.

In all of my years of being a leader myself, there a few dos and don’ts of being a leader that I’ve learnt from experience. For me, a leader is someone who can see how things can move forward and who rallies people to strive towards a better vision. Having said that I also believe that leaders can work toward making their vision a reality while putting his/ her people first. Just being able to motivate people isn’t enough — leaders need to be empathetic and connect with people to be successful. Here are some leadership mantras I swear by to lead to success:

  • Motivation: A leader must know how to motivate better than anyone else; it is one of the primary functions of a people’s manager. A leader must channel his/her employee’s creative energy and professional potential in order to achieve organizational objectives. I make it a point to talk to my team, ask them questions, let them talk, listen, and understand what they need. Leading is not giving orders, it is about listening and creating a seamless environment for your employees.
  • Taking risks: A leader is responsible for taking risks that no one will be willing to take to achieve his/ her vision. In the process, one may end up making mistakes, but a leader must take this in his/ her stride and move forward, thus making it as a learning experience.
  • Learning agility: Learning agility is the ability to know what to do when you don’t know what to do. A leader must be able to learn new skills and concepts and should not be dated. Being a learner is an important part of being able to lead effectively and without any hindrance.
  • Communication: A leader must also be able to communicate effortlessly. One needs to be able to communicate well on various levels, from conveying information to educating your employees. The quality and effectiveness of communication directly affect the success of your organization.
  • Be yourself: The foremost quality of a leader is to be unique and not follow the footsteps of another. There is no set formula for being a leader. One must have faith in their skills and the ability to be a good leader.
How to inculcate good money habits in your children

How to inculcate good money habits in your children

As a parent, you may want the finest of things for your child- best of clothes, toys gadgets and even education. Education, however teaches your child the math and importance of money, but in theory. Some lessons are best ingrained when learnt in real life. That is why, it is important to instil in your children the value of money from a very young age, to help them prepare and make sound decisions as adults.

It is very important for parents to early on have these conversations or make an even more liberal choice of giving financial independence to their kids from a very young age. Children otherwise, don’t take very long to pick up on habits that don’t necessarily prove beneficial when they grow up. Therefore, start inculcating financial literacy in your child for him/ her to be a successful, independent adult. Some of the very simple ways to this are:

Start with the basics: 

The most basic habit would be to save. A piggy bank would be an ideal way to ingrain in them the value of saving. Your child’s early interaction with money, is watching you spend it on daily needs. It is important to teach them that money is not only for spending. That’s when a piggy bank comes handy to make them aware of the concept of savings.

Teach them the value of giving:

Giving is an essential trait that can help shape the character of your child. Teach them to support a cause or an NGO early on. This habit can help in creating humility and empathy in them. 

Pocket money:

Pocket money instils a sense of value in them. Giving pocket money to spend every month can teach children to budget their spending and even save some in order to purchase something that they’ve been wanting. This teaches them to value things and delayed gratification, thus avoiding impulse purchases.

Create opportunities to earn money:

Creating opportunities to earn can be an excellent way to create discipline and self-awareness in them. This habit has multiple benefits. Firstly, it teaches them the importance of contributing to household chores, irrespective of gender. Secondly, they also learn how decide to spend the money that they have earned. 

Teach them to make wise spending decisions:

This can be done by defining earning, spending and saving to them. Teaching them the importance of hard earned money and saving some of it at the end of the month, will automatically help them decide where they need to spend and where they can save. Also, as an adult it is essential that you set an example by displaying good financial behaviour for them.

It is correctly said, ‘Practise what you preach’ however, do it with consistency. Inculcating new habits is a process that takes time. However, in order for your kids to be responsible adults, it is important for you to put in consistent efforts and communicate with them.