Opened a bank account recently? After those visits from bank representatives and the endless back & forth on countless documents, did you feel frustrated? Did you wonder that in this era of instant gratification, with services & products always a few clicks away – whether it be taxis, food, grocery or those speakers you wanted – why was banking not equally simplified? If you answered yes, join the club!
The financial services (FS) sector, in India as well as globally, has struggled to keep pace with changing customer expectations.The complexity of financial products and services makes FS a high touch business. While financial institutions (FIs) across the board have tried to simplify & enhance customer experience – whether it be through at-home documentation pick-up, introduction of tablets for data collection or digital banking options – finance remains a high friction service. Security concerns and regulatory compliances – which only go up as you move on the credit spectrum from individual customers to SMBs/ merchants to institutions – add layers to the delivery. As a result, customers go through significantly long on-boarding processes with a poor overall experience, while providers are saddled with low efficiency and high risk owing to errors and non-compliances.
Customers go through significantly long on-boarding processes with a poor overall experience, while providers are saddled with low efficiency and high risk owing to errors and non-compliances.
At the core of the above problem is “trust”- How does the bank “trust” that you have the address you are saying you have? How does it “trust” that you have the name you say you have? Is it through your PAN? Your Aadhar? Perhaps a combination of the two? You would expect technology to have solved this problem somewhat. Unfortunately, untrustworthy mechanisms have only increased in the age of technology – photoshopped ID cards, anyone?
Hence, when we met Signzy – the young team building a digital trust platform, with a live customer onboarding solution – we decided to take a deeper look.
Signzy’s solution enables FIs to manage risk and compliance in real time on one hand, while reducing process turnaround time on the other. It does this using three key levers. One, it has sophisticated machine learning capabilities, on both image and video, to interpret content on a myriad of scanned documents and identify fraud. For example, if you have changed the photo on a PAN card and scanned it, Signzy can detect fraud with better accuracy than humans can.
If you have changed the photo on a PAN card and scanned it, Signzy can detect fraud with better accuracy than humans can
Two, the solution also connects electronically to a large number of databases within the country such as Aadhar, police records, and other negative lists. Three, the solution is designed with easy to use workflow capabilities, and clients can access their services through 50+ APIs to customize the solution as per their need.
We were not only impressed by the product that they have developed, but also by the traction they have in the market. They have one of the fastest growth trajectories, that we have seen for any Indian SaaS company, in the first 12 months of product launch. Virtually every large FS player in India is their customer.
As promising as the Signzy’s journey has been so far, we are even more excited about what lies ahead! Their solution has immediate applicability to all types of financial institutions – banks, asset management companies, NBFCs, insurance companies, wallets and payment service providers. As they move forward, we see rapid growth coming from three directions.
One, continuing to execute strongly on their current offering, since they are barely scratching the surface within their large accounts at present. India has opened 300M new Jan Dhan accounts in the last 4 years and on-boarded 11M SMBs onto GST. As these people and businesses consume more sophisticated financial services and products, institutions will need to rethink their processes for scale and compliance.
Institutions will need to rethink their processes for scale and compliance
Two, expanding their set of offerings to provide trust solutions across various transactional processes within FS, and not just onboarding.
Three, expanding their playground to include not just India, but the world; for we do not know of any country where these challenges do not exist.
As one would expect, we saved the best for the last. No prizes for guessing –it’s the team. Started by Ankit, Ankur and Arpit, who are alumni of IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur and ILS Law College (Pune), respectively, Signzy has an outstanding founding team. They are repeat entrepreneurs and in addition to their many individual strengths, it’s their passion for the product and building this business that stands out in every interaction. Despite their relatively young age (they are all less than 30 years old), one of the first things that struck us about them, and that we continue to be extremely impressed with, is their relentless long-term orientation when thinking about the business.
At Stellaris, we are always looking to work with world-class entrepreneurs solving large problems through technology, and consider ourselves privileged to partner with the Signzy team. We love our ringside seat at this table, and can’t wait to see what lies ahead!