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Archive for the ‘BFSI’ Category

Consumer advocates ranted about overdraft protection fees in 2008, saying the service was forced down upon consumers. While the uninitiated can Google “overdraft protection” for a prosaic definition of the term, Stanley Bing offers the following tongue-in-cheek description for one of the most lucrative services offered by US banks: “No matter what you spend with your debit card, even if you have no money in your account, the guys at the bank will make sure that you’re not embarrassed. They’ll pay […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Aug - 18 - 2017 Add Comments READ FULL POST

I recently read the following tweet: After Banks figure this out and do something with eKYC, they will realize that people are not ready to pay MDR, want privacy — Srikanth ஸ்‌ரீகாந்த் (@logic) February 20, 2017 I replied back pointing out that: But Merchants pay MDR, not Consumers! — S.Ketharaman (@s_ketharaman) February 20, 2017 He replied back with the following tweet: nice dream. — Srikanth ஸ்‌ரீகாந்த் (@logic) February 20, 2017 @logic was implying that merchants will definitely pass on the […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Jul - 14 - 2017 3 Comments READ FULL POST

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 4 Comments 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 2 Comments READ FULL POST

Contrary to popular belief, Flipkart didn’t pioneer ecommerce in India. That distinction belongs to Fabmall, the startup that introduced ecommerce in the mid-1990s well before Flipkart was founded in 2007. I remember placing orders from a dial-up modem in 1998 and paying online by credit card, which was the only mode of payment supported by ecommerce forerunners like Fabmall, Rediff and IndiaTimes Shopping. That said, Flipkart did pioneer COD in India. The new payment method, launched in 2010, gave a […]

Posted by Ketharaman Swaminathan On Apr - 21 - 2017 1 Comment 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 1 Comment 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
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