The Indian fintech industry has seen exponential growth in the past few years. With the demonetization move banning high-value banknotes in 2016, the Indian government signaled an initiative to incorporate digital financial services in the country. Digitization increased drastically post 2016. This growth was amplified with the outbreak of Covid-19 which pushed many services online and accelerated the growth of the fintech industry in the country. The digital fintech industry is ever-growing but India faces a challenge to achieve an all-inclusive digital finance system nationwide.
The Indian Fintech market is estimated to be a $ 31 billion industry. It is expected to grow at a rate of 22% in the next five years. The Indian Fintech ecosystem is the third biggest in the world after the US and China, and larger business opportunities for these companies remain greatly untapped. Fintech startups have recently become a major contributor to the list of Unicorns, not just in India but around the major startup ecosystems of the world. In India, Fintechs providing finance and insurance services have made up the majority of startups to receive high funding and attain the Unicorn status.
Here are a few trends that have driven the growth in the fast-growing industry and will continue to shape it.
- Increased technological adoption by the masses: A huge portion of the Indian population continues to be underserved and subjected to constantly changing regulatory frameworks. The technological use of the Fintech industry serves as an alternative option especially for the uneducated. This is coupled with the high technological advancements, cheaper mobile phones, and deeper internet penetration to the corners of the country. The nature of fintech to utilize technology has been the biggest driving factor for the growth until now and will continue to be so in the future.
- Government Initiatives: India has been one of the biggest markets for the adoption of technology for various services. After the demonetization of the two most valued denominations in 2016, the Indian government pushed for digitisation and technological use for financial services. Through various government programs to enhance internet access in rural areas, digital literacy, and financial programs, the government has provided great initiatives for the growth of Fintech in the country. Some of these initiatives include Startup India, Digital India program, India Stack, E-RUPI, license for payments banks, Jan Dhan Yojana, National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), and IRDAI for Fintech. The government has also created a strong technological infrastructure by including Aadhar, UPI, etc.
- Investments in the Fintech sector: Fintech industries around the world are seeing huge cash flows. In line with the global trends, Indian fintech industries have received tons of investments making it the largest and the fastest-growing fintech industry. The growth of the Indian fintech industry is also observable in the fact that Paytm, a fintech company, is the most valued startup in India, which has seen a huge increase in the number of startups and Unicorn businesses.
- Huge opportunities with challenges: While the huge urban population in the country has provided incentive for the growth of the industry, there is still a huge opportunity for growth for the fintech companies. Lack of financial literacy among a huge population remains to be a hurdle for the fintech industries.
- Privacy: With advancing technology and increasing financial tech companies catering to various financial issues, there is a risk of data security and privacy leak. Companies providing services like assistance in accounting expenditure need to be extremely cautious of data safety particularly of data of such sensitivity.