Aethereus Perspectives : Reimagine Customer Experience in Lending

The last decade has seen an immense technological disruption across industries, including finance. Only a few years ago, digital lending was dismissed as a mere “buzzword”, but the exponential growth of fintechs in the sector has resolved all such doubts. BCG has estimated that India’s digital lending market will grow from ₹ 3.9 trillion in 2018 to ₹ 24 trillion by 20231. This would make the share of digital lending at 48 % of the overall lending market.2 Customer expectations have grown due to what is called the ” Amazon Effect”, and financial institutions are struggling to keep up and provide a frictionless user experience. They need to think beyond “minimizing the number of clicks” & transform all their current processes to better accommodate a digital savvy customer. According to a research, 75% of MSMEs in India are comfortable with sharing data digitally3. Data, advanced analytics & AI can thus be leveraged to eliminate steps & improve processes.

Disrupting through innovative models

Fintechs have pioneered new models of doing business to disrupt the lending space by making their processes more customer-centric. A few examples of models that are gaining foothold in the market are as follows-

  • PoS based Lending- Since 47% MSMEs have adopted digital tools for accounting, payments & sales4, data from PoS machines of merchants , like credit/debit card swipes & online sales can be used to offer unsecured loans . For example, NeoGrowth offers a unique product to SMEs by using PoS data for underwriting loans, coupled with an option of automatic daily repayments.
  • Data aggregator based business loans– Fintechs like Indifi offer loans tailored for specific segments such as travel, restaurants, e-commerce by using data from data aggregators like MakeMyTrip or Swiggy to assess the risk profile of the borrower. For example, a small restaurant can avail a loan on the basis of its transactions & customer ratings with Swiggy and Zomato
  • Mobile-data based lending– Few fintechs like Capital Float use applicant’s mobile data such as banks transaction SMS history, mobile recharge information & call patterns to assess creditworthiness of borrowers.
  • Invoice financing- Short-term working capital needs of businesses are financed by fintechs like KredX, who extend loans by discounting unpaid invoices to a network of banks, NBFCs, wealth managers etc. When the invoice is successfully paid, the full amount gets credited to the investors directly.
  • Marketplaces– Fintechs such as Paisabazaar not only meet financial needs of consumers but also provide them with a choice of the financial institution they want to avail a loan from . It offers consumers a seamless end-to-end digital experience & is popular with millennials who can fulfill their “impulse purchase” & ” emergency fund” needs.
  • P2P Lending- Digital marketplaces like Faircent connect borrowers with lenders allowing quick access to low-cost loans at affordable costs.

An Enabling Regulatory Environment

The Indian regulatory environment has evolved rapidly in the past few years, providing a favorable environment for the growth of fintechs. Few initiatives that have improved the company’s digital infrastructure are as follows-

  • Launch of GST- It has enabled wider availability of digitized data, which could be harnessed by lenders for credit scoring
  • Startup India- The scheme aims to provide regulatory & financial support to startups, and has led to an increase in the number of fintech players in the country.
  • Launch of IndiaStack- The unified software platform is a set of open APIs that could be utilized by banks, telecom operators as well as fintech lenders to gain insights into consumers across segments & offer them innovative lending solutions.
  • Recognizing P2P Lenders- RBI has categorized P2Ps as NBFCs, enabling growth of the segment.
  • Regulatory Sandbox- This RBI initiative allows Fintechs to test their products & innovations on a small scale & in a controlled environment before rolling them out. This allows digital lenders experiment with their innovative solutions with regulatory backing.

Reimagining Traditional Lending

Fintechs  in the digital lending space can leverage advanced technologies & regulatory provisions to  reimagine & restructure the traditional lending value chain. Specific touchpoints can be targeted to enhance customer experience & drive operational efficiency by eliminating the customer drop-off points from the traditional lending model. A seamless user experience can thus be offered by reducing turnaround times & disburse loans in seconds.

Using Salesforce to create Smarter, Faster & more Personalized Experience

With all these challenges and opportunities in digital lending, having a CRM system like Salesforce for loan origination, management & risk decisioning becomes a major differentiating factor. Integration of ecosystems to generate a single data set on Salesforce, can help increase decision speeds. Here are few advantages that Digital Lending platforms can leverage through Salesforce-

  1. Real Time onboarding, decisioning & approvals– Salesforce helps in integrating internal, external as well as credit bureau data to make real time decisions & operationalize risk models within minutes.
  2. Making Lending process more transparent for everyone– With a 360-degree view of customers at a glance, the entire lending process can be unified through a single platform, giving borrowers, lenders & underwriters, a transparent view of the lending process.
  3. Tailoring the right product for the right customer– Salesforce collates customer data from various sources to exactly know what customers need & when they need it.
  4. ‘Moment of Truth’ offers based on customer behavior– Integrating Salesforce with a loan decisioning solution allows a business to preapprove customers for specific offers. This ensures that it only promotes offers that are suitable for the customer and improves the application process.
  5. Understanding ‘Importance of Life events’ – Data analytics from Salesforce data can help businesses predict a customer’s need for financial services based on event or behavior triggers such as marriage, saving habits etc. & help reach out to them through personalized marketing campaigns.

Technological disruptions & availability of data has shifted the power from the lender to the consumer. New lending models which keep customer experience in the forefront can thus use Salesforce as a technology platform for digital lending. With an inevitable explosion of these customer-centric lending models, there’s no doubt that Salesforce is expected to be right at the centre of it.

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Bridging educational gaps for underprivileged children

Aethereus as a part of its CSR initiative joins UPAY as a partner and makes a commitment to provide UPAY with certain learning equipment that aim to educate the underprivileged


children through Reach & Teach initiative. We strongly support this mission and envisions on removing disparities in the field of education and provide each child access to quality education by supporting the operations of UPAY learning center in Pune.

Welfare and Education initiatives to empower children affected by Farmer suicides

Aethereus partnered with Snehwan an NGO who works for children who lost their parents to farmer’s suicide. Aethereus supported SNEHWAN to build classrooms & to work for the welfare of SNEHWAN children to make them self-sufficient in their lives and help them upskill for their future career roles.

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The Brave Souls Foundation is a non-profit organisation established and led by acid attack survivors to prevent acid attacks, combat gender-based violence, and improve the welfare of survivors.

Aethereus has made a significant impact by supporting survivors through comprehensive assistance, offering vital resources such as medical, psychological, educational, financial, and legal support. This compassionate initiative encompasses a wide range of needs, including rehabilitation, access to food, essential medications, and secure shelter for these resilient survivors.

Empowering underpriviledge kids with Diwali workshops

Tara Mobile Creche (TMC), a non-profit organization, focuses on addressing the health and educational needs of children whose parents work on construction sites in Pune. Through the 'Aethereus Community Outreach' program, #TeamAethereus dedicated the day to candle making workshops, teaching sessions, and sharing goodies with the kids on the occasion of Diwali. Interacting with the remarkably talented kids, sharing experiences, listening to their stories, and witnessing the dreams in their eyes was a rewarding experience.

Blood donation drive on India’s 74 th republic day

Aethereus ringed in 74th Republic Day celebrations by organizing a blood donation camp to commemorate the sacrifice of our freedom fighters. More than 100+ participated in this drive collecting 250 units of blood, which used to help kids suffering from Thalassemia disease.

#TeamAethereus salutes all the rockstars who donated blood and impacted many lives to celebrate this festival. More power to you!

Paying way for a digital educational future

Aethereus has partnered with SOCH to make a meaningful impact on the lives of underprivileged children, ensuring they receive the necessary knowledge and education. Together, we've positively influenced the education of 200 children in Ghaziabad, by transforming Prathmik Vidyalaya first government school in Ghaziabad with fully digital classrooms. This marks a significant milestone in demonstrating how technology and education can collaboratively shape a brighter future for students in need.

Celebrating stories of 'Grit & Guts' with Pragati Foundation on Women’s Day

Aethereus 2023 Women’s Day theme was about celebrating the stories of ‘Grit & Guts’ from Pragati Foundation, a non-profit organization working to provide dignity to women from underprivileged communities. As a part of the Aethereus Outreach Program, it was humbling to listen to inspiring stories of their real struggles, their ‘Grit & Guts’ to march on and shine brilliantly with help from Pragati Foundation.  

Spreading Diwali joy with elderly at Silver home

Aethereus believes in fostering a sense of community and giving back, especially during times of celebration. In the spirit of Diwali, #TeamAethereus spent quality time with the old age people at Silver Homes, sharing smiles, laughter, and heartfelt conversations. We distributed delightful snacks and traditional diyas, illuminating not just their surroundings but also their spirits.

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