Navigating government regulations remains a massive challenge for fintechs. With newer rules introduced frequently and sporadically, it tends to have a deeper impact on the ecosystem, serving as a deterrent to fintechs and demotivating them from driving innovation in their respective domains. To know more about the open finance APIs, Srajan Agarwal of Elets News Network, had an interaction with Milan Ganatra, Founder & CEO, 1Silverbullet.
How does 1Silverbullet plan to democratise insurance and investments?
Currently in India, an average of 20000+ active financial services companies operate in the distribution of investments, insurance, banking, and credit products. These businesses have already set up or are rushing towards a digital-first approach, but building these platforms usually requires extensive front-end and back-end development, multiple workflow tools, management tools, etc. More importantly, they require middle-ware platforms for integrating internal and external micro services. Whether it is for the validation of customer credentials, generation of an OTP, or pulling out data from multiple government platforms, it is a complex layer of criss-cross communication between multiple stakeholders.
This entire process is non-standardised, inefficient, and would cost a tidy sum of money.
This is where 1Silverbullet steps in – to create a standardised infrastructure to help alleviate these pain points, by providing a plug-and-play mechanism for businesses to connect with one or many, depending upon their business model.
1Silverbullet sets up a middle-ware platform, an API junction that will seamlessly connect developers, distributors as well as consumers via a single common protocol, eliminating excessive and often manual documentation thus ensuring safer, faster yet more convenient transactions every time.
What are the security measures you are undertaking to curb fraud and cybersecurity attacks?
There are three aspects of security:
1. Cloud infrastructure security – We deploy our applications to AWS cloud. We follow best practices to correctly configure the infra and ensure that we cover the security aspects we are responsible for.
2. Application security – We follow OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) guidelines and implement security controls and protections as part of our application.
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3. Data security – We take data security very seriously, we store all PII data which is hashed & encrypted and all data in transit is encrypted using HTTPS. Sensitive data at rest is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption.
How has the impact of open APIs/open banking been on the end consumer?
Open Finance APIs have enabled freedom and flexibility, meaning consumers now have more control over the data they share and how they engage with financial apps/services. Moreover, they’ve gained unparalleled access to a broader range of products and services to compare and choose from or even get customised to their liking.
APIs are employed to respond to customer requests, in a secure, quick, and sophisticated manner and hence improve the overall customer experience.
You are developing solutions, especially for Fintechs. What are the challenges you see in Fintech vs traditional development?
I firmly believe that the future is integration/collaboration rather than versus. APIs fuel these collaborations between traditional and modern systems, allowing them to communicate smoothly. This link between old and the new, further increases the life of existing systems without the need to change legacy codes and risk errors.
Speaking about the challenges – Technology is advancing at an incredible pace, and constantly upgrading technology stacks while embracing newer technologies is a must.
Secondly, navigating government regulations remains a massive challenge for fintechs. With newer rules introduced frequently and sporadically, it tends to have a deeper impact on the ecosystem, serving as a deterrent to fintechs and demotivating them from driving innovation in their respective domains. It’s imperative that we are clear at the get-go or in one shot about what to do and what not to do. Otherwise, the business models will keep changing, investors will lose money, and customers will become extremely unhappy, eventually distrusting fintech altogether.
Last but not least; data security has always been a top concern for fintech solution providers.
How do you rate India’s readiness to the adoption of technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) in the financial services ecosystem in India?
India is one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of technological advancements and funding in AI. 9 of 10 FinTech businesses make use of AI/ML solutions across most, if not all, of their critical processes and functions.
Though India needs to go a long way when it comes to AI, the government of India has taken impressive initiatives like “AI for India” with an aim to make India the “AI Capital of the World”. While that may be a really long road, India is making slow but steady efforts in harnessing its AI potential.
What are the innovations you have planned for the next five years?
While we are currently LIVE with Portfolio Management Services (PMS) and Alternate Investment Funds (AIF) within the wealth gateway, we would be going LIVE with Fixed Deposits by mid-November and corporate bonds, and structured notes by the end of this calendar year.
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As part of our 5-year plan, we hope to introduce new products and broaden our spectrum to include travel, transportation, and other verticals. In terms of numbers, we are looking at achieving a topline of at least $200 million by 2026.
I am very optimistic about the potential that a company like ours holds for the future. With 1Silverbullet, we want to be the UPI for wealth products and insurance and be a truly transformational force for the financial services ecosystem.
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