Are ML/AI and Blockchain Technologies Changing Fintech?

AI/Bots will stop being gimmicks and actually do something useful in the coming years

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Murari Sridharan, Chief Technology Officer, Bankbazaar.com

BankBazaar started its journey in 2008. Today, it has a vision of going paperless, presence-less, and cashless, and instant issuance/disbursal.

Murari Sridharan, Chief Technology Officer, Bankbazaar.com, takes us through the journey and touches on the effect of AI/ML and blockchain in India. Excerpts:

BW: How are technologies changing fintech, such as machine learning/artificial intelligence and blockchain?

Murari Sridharan: AI/Bots will stop being gimmicks and actually do something useful in the coming years. Primarily on things like robo-advisory using deep analytics, stitching together the digital trail to build credit worthiness, more co-location of user data, which, today, is stuck in silos inside different entities and unable to paint a clear picture of an individual.

Lots of folks don’t have a formal credit history and this is the way we will stitch together a digital trail of the user in ways that has never been possible before. Personalization of experiences and products will become more and more common due to breaking down data silos and employing ML on the user data.

On policy, all the debate around privacy. etc., is expected to get sorted. We need to empower the user with the data and give the user ways by which they can selectively and on a time-bound basis share personal data for a significant user benefit. There should be clear ways by which access to data can be revoked.

The question should move from privacy to consent-based access and user being able to measure the value he or she gets in return for sharing the data. Then it’s about how secure the data is stored both at rest and in flight during these transactions.

As with all IT automation is going to increase efficiency, lower cost and increase speed of delivery. Significant re-training is the order of the day.

BW: How do you see blockchain advancing in India?

Murari Sridharan: On blockchain, I think, the use cases are plenty everything -- from money transfer, to trading to real estate transactions and what not. Once the hype subsides, two things will be clear. How do you ensure that blockchain tech in India is built on globally distributed systems whose scale is necessary to guarantee tamper-proof ledger and how do the government/banks react to that.

If you create your own closed system using blockchain that solves nothing; will the government be OK to use such technology, and what happens to geography concerns and legal hurdles around data storage?

There are several questions to be thought through, most of which is not technological in my opinion. It is a fundamental contribution and definitely has a huge future including in fintech but till these questions are sorted the use cases will be significantly muted.

BW: What is the Impact of GST on technology?

Murari Sridharan: That is essentially a B2B concern. As a B2C person who works with customer experience and security and other aspects, the GST does not figure significantly on my perspective.

BW: How has been BankBazaar’s journey up until now?

Murari Sridharan: BankBazaar started off on its journey in 2008 at a time when even eCommerce was still getting its feet wet in India. Today, with 14M visitors a month and 30-min approval of credit products from the widest range of partner financial institutions – even those that are still trying to make their online presence felt – we have come a long way from there.

Today, paperless, presence-less, cashless and instant issuance/disbursal continues to be our vision. How do we ensure every user gets access to the best financial product, at the right time and how do we participate in that life journey continues to drive our technological investments. We are building for scale using a hybrid cloud solution with security being part of our design every step of the way with practices such as secure software development life cycle.


Tags assigned to this article:
technologies FinTech ML ai Blockchain

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