Fintech for Inclusion of the Last Mile: Experiences from the frontline of innovation
Date: December 11, 2018
Time: 2 pm to 3:30 pm
Location: Hotel Ashok, New delhi
As part of its mission to identify sustainable templates for small business ecosystems to access the benefits of digital finance, CATALYST set up a pioneering incubator program, ‘Fintech For the Last Mile’, to promote companies that have reimagined financial solutions for the underserved. The program provided five unique and innovative companies with financial, technical and operational support, and integrated their work into its ‘Digital Payment Lab’ in Jaipur.
To discuss Fintech for Inclusion of Last Mile: Experiences from the Frontline of Innovation, CATALYST presented PayNearby, PayBee, Bix42, Fingpay and Kaleidofin (5 shortlisted start-ups that participated in the first batch of CATALYST Incubator), at the Inclusive Finance India Summit 2018, in New Delhi. The companies jointly span different segments – including merchants, their suppliers, and their customers – as well as different payment types (e.g., UPI, Aadhaar Pay, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)) and value-added services.
Focusing on ‘fintech for inclusion of the last mile’, the discussions highlighted the opportunities and barriers associated with addressing the needs of the underserved segment.
Stephen Rasmussen, Head-Inclusive Markets, CGAP moderated the livewire session.
The discussions drew attention on the fact that while the infrastructure to build inclusive financial services has recently been upgraded with the roll-out of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Aadhaar and India Stack, the power of these systems delivered to end users at scale is yet to be seen. Innovations in both digital products and mechanisms to distribute them are needed. There also remains scope to build deeper and more targeted workflows on top of an increasingly commoditized transaction layer. These software, hardware or, in certain cases, operational solutions can generate tangible and immediate value to users – be it through analytics, access to financing, new revenue generating opportunities, or streamlined business processes.
The five shortlisted start-ups passionately shared their inspirations and innovations that made them reimagine financial solutions for mass digital payments, especially for the low-income ecosystems.
The five shortlist start-ups
PayNearby enables existing corner shops to become digital financial service hubs, thereby creating the world’s largest hyperlocal fintech network.
Fingpay is a payment and collection solution that enables merchants to accept digital payments from customers who do not have either a card, wallet, or mobile.
Merapaper provides a micro-ERP to digitize the customer lifecycle, billing, and payments for small B2C merchants.
PayBee’s solution automates and digitizes B2B collections in the distributor-retailer value chain.
Kaleidofin is a platform that provides tailored financial services to the mass market including populations who are un/under-banked and have significant variability in their income.