Revolutionizing Fintech: Nageen Kommu Unveils the Vision and Innovative Edge of Digitap in Exclusive Interview
Discover the journey of Digitap with founder Nageen Kommu, exploring its rise in fintech through AI and ML innovations. From revolutionizing digital lending to pioneering data privacy, learn how Digitap is reshaping BFSI and setting global benchmarks, all while balancing technological advancements with the human element in finance.
In a riveting conversation with Nageen Kommu, the founder of Digitap, we delve into the transformative journey of this fintech pioneer. From its early focus on digital customer onboarding to reshaping the financial landscape with AI and ML-driven solutions, Digitap has emerged as a game-changer in the BFSI sector. In this exclusive interview, Kommu reveals the strategic milestones and innovative approaches that propel Digitap forward. He discusses the company’s unique product stack, which bridges the credit gap for millions and pioneers new standards in data sharing and privacy. This journey, marked by collaboration with the Sahamati platform and cutting-edge technological advancements, showcases Digitap’s role in driving digital lending efficiency and compliance. As Digitap eyes a global footprint and ambitious revenue targets, Kommu shares his insights on balancing AI innovation with the essential human touch in finance. Join us as we explore the visionary path and future aspirations of Digitap under Kommu’s leadership.
Q – Could you share the journey of Digitap since its inception and how the company has evolved over the years? Specifically, any key milestones, changes in clientele, and growth numbers that stand out?
A – When I set up Dribl, the first start-up I co-founded, I soon became interested in technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that were disrupting processes across industries. What fascinated me was its ability to analyze enormous amounts of data that helped in making fast and intelligent decisions. On researching and exploring the application of these technologies, I realized the upcoming fintech space had the best opportunity as there was a void these technologies could fill. And that’s how Digitap was born!
Initially, the company focused on providing digital customer onboarding solutions. Eventually, we began designing complex credit underwriting solutions by tapping into diverse data sources like bank statements, telecom, e-commerce, and device data. To put it simply, we are an early-stage tech start-up committed to creating advanced AI, ML, and compliance-driven digital solutions for BFSI organizations that enables them to deliver a seamless, compliant customer experience. Our products enhance risk management and curbs fraud.
Our significant achievement lies in being recognized as a certified Technology Service Provider (TSP) on the Sahamati platform. This platform implements the Financial Information Users (FIU) module, empowering us to certify the module and offer analytical insights along with raw data from Financial Information Providers (FIP).
As a TSP, our connectivity spans multiple Account Aggregators (AAs). Our objective is to offer FIUs and end-to-end solution to understand their customer’s financial profile.
Q – Digitap is known for its distinctive product stack for financial institutions. Could you elaborate on the key components of this product stack and how it enables reliable, fast, and compliant customer onboarding and risk management?
A – At Digitap, we’ve built our product lineup around innovative underwriting solutions that tap into unique data sources and advanced scoring models to transform customer onboarding and risk management. Unlike the BFSI sector’s typical reliance on Bureau data, our approach aims to bridge the credit gap for about 400 million individuals in India who face limited access to credit due to low or no bureau scores.
Our foundation lies in AI/ML-driven alternate data solutions that draw from diverse sources such as bank statements, telecom records, social media, e-commerce activities, employment history, device data, and location. This compilation of varied data empowers BFSI companies to assess creditworthiness beyond traditional metrics. The real game-changer is identifying impactful data sources that profoundly shape a customer’s credit profile.
But Digitap is more than just data aggregation. Our standout feature lies in crafting custom scoring models, which empowers clients to develop tailored models, perfectly suited to their specific customer segments. This precision ensures unmatched credit assessment accuracy, boosts risk management, and significantly reduces Non-Performing Assets (NPAs).
Our product lineup goes beyond underwriting solutions. It encompasses a comprehensive suite of tools that facilitate reliable, swift, and compliant customer onboarding. This includes cutting-edge KYC solutions and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to document validation and video KYC solutions compliant with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations.
In addition to these features, Digitap is actively developing uses-driven products on the Account Aggregator framework. From personal finance management to loan monitoring, underwriting, and early warning signals, our products cater to diverse financial needs, ensuring a holistic and responsive approach.
In essence, Digitap reshapes the operational landscape of financial institutions, harnessing unconventional data sources and empowering personalized, robust risk assessment models. All of this is achieved with a steadfast commitment to regulatory standards, expediting customer onboarding processes and ensuring a future-ready financial ecosystem.
Q – As Digitap is a listed TSP in the Sahamati platform, could you explain the role that your company plays in this context? How does this role contribute to enhancing data sharing and privacy in the financial sector?
A – Being a listed Technology Service Provider (TSP) on the Sahamati platform, Digitap plays a significant role in driving data sharing and privacy standards in the financial sector. Through the AA framework, in which we are actively involved, the company facilitates secure sharing of customers’ financial data with lending institutions. This process boosts digital lending by speeding up credit assessments through streamlined data access, eliminating the hassle of manual verification.
It’s heartening to highlight that our comprehensive APIs within the onboarding suite have garnered positive responses from our clients. Currently, we’re working on a robust Loan Origination System platform to cater to their needs.
Moreover, as a TSP in the AA framework, Digitap has introduced a groundbreaking AA switch, the first of its kind in the industry. By partnering with multiple account aggregators, we provide an unparalleled experience to our clients and users. This approach ensures the highest success rates and extensive coverage of financial institutions. Our dynamic system allows us to maintain the health of each AA, enabling us to route transactions to the most optimal AA for the best user experience.
Q – The AA framework has been gaining attention in the fintech space. How does Digitap leverage this framework to improve the process of digital lending? Are there any specific use cases or benefits you could highlight?
A – The AA framework has truly transformed the fintech landscape, and Digitap is at the forefront of harnessing its potential to revolutionize digital lending. Our strategy centers on boosting efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction throughout the digital lending journey.
Through secure data sharing, we expedite credit underwriting, granting real-time access to comprehensive financial data and minimising the need for manual verification. This results in swift loan approvals and significantly reduced waiting times.
Our utilisation of the AA framework extends beyond the initial lending process to encompass loan monitoring. With automated updates of financial data, lenders receive real-time insights into borrowers’ financial health, ensuring precise credit assessment and contributing to effective risk management.
In addition to credit-related functions, we harness the power of the AA framework for personal finance management, providing users with a holistic view of their financial data to facilitate informed decision-making, budgeting, and financial planning.
Furthermore, our dynamic use of the AA framework allows us to provide early warning signals for potential risks, monitoring indicators such as new EMI introductions, low balances before EMI dates, and other critical factors. This proactive approach enables lenders to manage risks effectively, enhancing the overall lending experience.
Tapping into diverse data sources, our AA framework facilitates cross-selling insights, empowering lenders to understand customer preferences and needs. This capability enables the tailoring of product recommendations that align precisely with user requirements.
As we continue to innovate, our commitment remains steadfast: to elevate user experiences and promote responsible lending practices. The AA framework serves as a catalyst for this transformation, offering a comprehensive suite of benefits that extend beyond traditional realms of digital lending.
Q – Nageen, you mentioned your vision to reach customers globally and attain an ARR of USD 20-25 million in the next few years. Could you share some insights into your strategy for achieving this goal? Are there any particular regions or market segments you’re focusing on?
A – Our roadmap to achieve the goal of expanding globally and reaching an ARR of USD 20-25 million is built on a multi-faceted strategy. To begin with, we’re aiming to scale our innovative underwriting solutions, leveraging our unique data sources and AI/ML-powered scoring models. This approach will empower us to cater to various markets and customer segments.
In addition, strategic alliances with financial institutions, lending platforms, and technology providers will be instrumental in broadening our reach. These collaborations won’t just enhance our product lineup but also aid in penetrating new markets.
Last but not least, we’re going to continue investing in research and development as it’s the key to refining our technology, enhancing customer experiences, and ensuring compliance with global regulations. These aspects form the core of our strategy.
By systematically combining these elements, our aim is to establish a global presence, offering advanced financial solutions that fuel our growth and help us fulfill our ambitious targets.
Q – AI/ML technologies are integral to your solutions. How do you strike a balance between leveraging advanced technologies and ensuring a human touch in the financial processes? Are there specific areas where human expertise is indispensable?
A – We’ve built the entire Digitap product stack on AI/ML technologies from the perspective of harnessing its power to complement and amplify our financial solutions rather than replacing the human element. Striking the right equation between utilizing advanced technologies and maintaining a human-centered approach forms the cornerstone of our philosophy.
While AI/ML algorithms equip us to swiftly analyze vast data volumes and make precise predictions, we recognize that human expertise remains indispensable in several critical domains. One such domain is the initial design and training of these algorithms. Our team of experts meticulously curates and refines these algorithms, ensuring their alignment with real-world scenarios and ethical norms.
When it comes to intricate financial decision-making processes, human judgment, empathy, and contextual understanding hold unique value. Particularly in situations involving distinctive customer profiles, nuanced financial contexts, or unforeseen events, having the human element involved becomes pivotal. Our experts interpret AI-generated insights, factoring in broader economic and societal aspects that contribute towards lending judgments.
From experience, we’ve identified that customer interactions, especially during onboarding or financial advisory sessions, expect a human connection to foster trust, address queries, and provide tailored suggestions.