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Archive for the ‘BFSI’ Category

I noticed a huge crowd during a recent visit to my bank branch. I happened to spot the bank’s Head of Relationship Banking – let me call her Sonia – in the branch. I asked her how come their branch was so full when finsurgents have been predicting the death of branches for so long. Sonia told me that, let alone die, their branches are growing. Despite the fact that branches are expensive – think mounting real estate costs – […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jun - 9 - 2017 1 Comment READ FULL POST

If you think bots will never replace human agents, you’re amongst the lucky few who has been served by intelligent human agents. Let's stop pretending that live agents have IQ of 140+ when we claim that chatbots are too dumb to replace them. — GTM360 (@GTM360) March 29, 2017 I admit that I’ve also been among the lucky few at times. But more often than not, I come across fairly dumb human agents. And, lately, I’ve started experiencing fairly intelligent […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On May - 26 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Contrary to popular belief, ecommerce began in India in the mid-1990s, which was way before Flipkart came into existence in circa 2007. I remember placing orders from a dial-up modem on Fabmall, Rediff and a couple of other Indian ecommerce pioneers in the late 1990s. I used to pay online by credit card, which I remember was the only mode of payment supported by these websites. That said, Flipkart did pioneer COD in 2010, which gave a huge fillip to […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Apr - 21 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

I had to pay college fees of INR 300,000 (~US$ 4615). The college supported an array of digital and paper-based payment options viz. Digital: Log in to college website, use college’s ePayment Gateway and pay by Credit Card. Paper: Demand Draft. I evaluated the pros and cons of both options. DIGITAL PAYMENT Pros: Credit card reward points: 3000 (@ 1 point per INR 100 spend). Generally, reward points can be redeemed for gifts worth INR 0.25 per reward point Deferred […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Mar - 3 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

If you follow this blog, you know that I mostly write about fintech, marketing, product management and customer experience. IT architecture is a new topic. I was prompted to write about it after witnessing a series of chaotic happenings with modern SMAC architecture during the last few months. For the uninitiated, SMAC stands for Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud. SMAC applications are typically built using cloud hosting, app stores, web services and APIs. This is how I encounter the building blocks of SMAC in my […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Feb - 24 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Pink Floyd fans won’t need any explanation for this post’s title. As for the others… well, it’s never too late to become fans of Pink Floyd!  The recent buzz around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning has spawned the next generation of Personal Finance Management applications. While the forerunners in the cateogory like Mint (now part of Intuit, Inc.) are still available on the web, most of the new players are mobile-only. Going by monickers such as Mobile Money Management App […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Feb - 17 - 2017 5 Comments READ FULL POST

With over 100 million users a year ago, PayTM was already ahead of its digital payment competitors before the Nov. 2016 demonetization of high value currency notes in India. On the back of the push for #CashlessIndia consequent to #CurrencySwitch, the Alibaba-backed mobile wallet has increased its lead over its other mobile wallets (e.g. MobiKwik, PayZapp) and account-to-account money transfer apps (e.g. UPI). Today, PayTM boasts 150M users (Source: Wikipedia). Based on my personal experience and anecdotal evidence, I advance five […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jan - 20 - 2017 1 Comment READ FULL POST

On the back of the demonetization of high value currency notes in India, the government has been aggressively pushing cashless payments. Trending on Twitter under the hashtag #CashlessIndia, the initiative has attracted criticism from the blogosphere and mainstream media on the grounds that India is not yet ready for digital payments. The average urban business-sensitive citizen seems to echo the same sentiment, judging by the results of the following poll conducted by Economic Times. See MediaNama article titled Cash vs […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jan - 6 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

I’m happy to announce that I have been named to The Royalty of Insightful Financial Services Content list. Compiled by Bryan Clagett, CMO & Investor in Geezeo, a proven white-label PFM provider for banks and credit unions, this list places me in the august company of Ron Shevlin, Jim Marous, Stessa Cohen, Brett King, Chris Skinner and seven other fintech titans largely in the United States. A big thank you to Bryan for this recognition. Readers would be aware that […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Dec - 23 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

In a recent editorial titled “How To Reduce Card Interchange Charges”, Economic Times advocates a combination of subsidy and competition to reduce merchant fees for accepting card payments. In case you missed it, the government of India has been aggressively pushing cashless payments recently after it demonetized the INR 500 and 1000 notes (and announced plans to introduce newly designed notes in INR 500, 1000 and 2000 denominations). Since payment card is the most widely used digital payment in India, there’s […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Dec - 16 - 2016 4 Comments READ FULL POST
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