New-age Technologies like AI and ML Ensure Fast Processing-Akshat Saxena

In Interviews, Technology

ePayLater is a Mumbai-based fintech company, it is a renowned innovator in the digital credit market has joined hand with EaseMyTrip the leading Indian online travel marketplace. As part of the partnership, ePayLater’s ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ service will be made available to customers for all travel bookings on EaseMyTrip.

Akshat Saxena is the Co-founder of ePayLater – India’s first of its kind “Buy now Pay later” checkout service. He carries a cross-sectional experience of setting up and managing data-driven businesses. In 10+ years of professional experience, Akshat has worked with industry majors like Oracle, IBM, SAP and TransUnion.

In an interaction with Techxty, Akshat Saxena talks about the changes new technologies are bringing in the financial service sector. Read On!

Tell us something about yourself and what does your company do?

ePayLater offers the simplest possible checkout experience in existence today, providing customers with the ability to conclude a transaction with just a click of the mouse or a tap of the touchscreen. It is a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ solution through which customers can get access to an instant credit limit to make faster purchases, that too without having to pay at the same time.

There are two major product lines of the company –

1) Providing short term credit at the point of sale for consumers shopping for their personal needs. Here, ePayLater enables a “Buy Now, Pay Later” solution for frequent online purchasers with an interest-free credit term of 14 days. ePayLater has partnered with IRCTC, PVR, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Tata Croma, to name a few. ePayLater is also available to our customers transacting online and offline, using BHIM UPI. This allows them to use ePayLater on all the major merchants like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, and Uber.

2) Providing short term credit for individual retailers for their business needs. The service involves no hidden cost and the credit line extended is completely collateral free. This allows businesses to continue providing services to their customers and achieve higher sales through faster inventory churns.

The idea behind the company is to use data science and new-age technologies to solve real-life challenges and bridge the credit divide that exists in India.

How big data analytics is helping you to manage 360 degree integrated client services?

We have built a purely digital credit solution that leverages the best of data science and engineering and delivers an experience which is not just inclusive, but also superior. While providing credit to customers ePayLater goes through a process of risk assessment to estimate the creditworthiness of a prospect. We have many real-time microservices which allow us to gather data in real-time thus making the entire process robust and quick to respond.

Real-time credit assessment ensures that a customer’s loan/credit approval status is shared instantly. The approval rate is also higher compared to  banks. Advanced data analytics allows us to extend credit to a higher percentage of customers, even the new-to-credit or first-time borrowers who are otherwise left untouched by banks and other financial institutions due to non-availability of financial history.

This means a customer need not stand in long bank queues or wait for weeks to get his/her credit card approved and still stand a better chance to get the credit instrument by simply making a few clicks.

What changes is AI bringing in financial service sector?

After the onset of digital banking, the personal connection the banks had with the customers was somewhere lost. AI is being leveraged to bring back this personal connection. AI can enable the banking and fintech industry to offer far more personalised and customised customer service and products.

New-age technologies like AI and machine learning ensures fast processing of a wide set of disparate data. AI and ML are suited to solve many of the problems associated with the traditional loan disbursals, more particularly, the underwriting process. It makes a significant difference to the lending process, from risk assessment to approval and disbursal of loans. This allows the industry to extend credit to a higher percentage of customers, even the new-to-credit or first-time borrowers who are otherwise left untouched by banks and other financial institutions due to non-availability of financial history.

Accuracy and predictability are primary goals of introducing AI/ML into the banking industry. AI and ML can effortlessly process a large amount of data swiftly and patterns can be observed. These patterns can help identify suspicious activities based on the transaction history and behavior of individual customers to detect and prevent fraud cases in real-time.

AI is expected to play a significant role in the marketing strategy as well. By understanding user behavior and interest, it can help show relevant financial products and offers to customers at the right time.

How fintech companies are accelerating with digitizing trends?

Over the last few years, Indian fintech firms have been driving innovation and evolving at a rapid pace. Fintech firms are breaking new ground in the finance sector through the innovative and dynamic use of technology. At each level, Fintechs are addressing pain points in a swift and efficient manner, leveraging technology, data analytics and machine learning.

The most important game-changer in this has been the increased data availability and emerging technologies like machine learning and data analytics. Among the early adopters of this data-driven innovation are firms that specialize in credit analytics using alternative data.

Be it the credit score or a customer’s past experiences, every decision is being influenced by the data analysis of the customer’s profile. Indian fintechs have adopted and leveraged these digital trends faster than any other sector. These technologies are being pioneered by several Fintech startups, and benefitting customer service as well as experience.

Another big game changers are UPI and QR based transactions. Both have made payments seamless and is being adopted by customers across the country. Many fintech companies are laying down the infrastructure to facilitate UPI and QR based transactions because it is convenient and cost-effective for both the merchants and customers.

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