On Wednesday Evening, Nageen Kommu, Co-founder & CEO of Digitap sat down with the TechGraph editorial team for a wide-ranging interview. We discussed Digitap’s journey, the role of technology and ai in the finance sector, and much more.
Read the complete interview here:
TechGraph: Could you give us a sense of how far Digitap has come since its existence? From when it began to where it is now?
Nageen Kommu: About two years ago, the BFSI sector in India was confronted with the daunting task of verifying genuine borrowers due to restrictions on physical interactions caused by the lockdown; this led to the emergence of Digitap.
Since then, the bootstrapped startup has been providing unparalleled technology services to the BFSI industry, leveraging its resilient technological infrastructure that receives over 10 million API hits per month. Being listed as a Technology Service Provider (TSP) on Sahamati, a self-organized Industry Alliance for the Account Aggregator (AA) ecosystem, Digitap has helped various BFSI brands to go live on the AA framework seamlessly.
At present, we have partnered with close to 100 esteemed BFSI brands such as KreditBee, Navi, Piramal Finance, Motilal Oswal, Bajaj Finserv, BharatPe, Northern Arc, TrueBalance, among others. Nonetheless, we are equally focused on expanding our operations globally. In the next five years, we aspire to be the foremost company worldwide that provides state-of-the-art technology services to financial institutions. Although our goal may sound ambitious, Digitap is well on its way to achieving this distinction.
TechGraph: How Digitap is utilizing its sectoral expertise and digitalization to help the fintech and banking sector with customer onboarding and risk assessment processes?
Nageen Kommu: Digitap has strong roots in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies, as it’s the foundation of our entire infrastructure. From analyzing data sources and developing scoring models to fulfill risk assessment procedures to customer onboarding, our expertise in AI/ML has benefitted and enhanced the scope of services being provided by various BFSI players we work with.
Our product stack includes a scoring model that allows for customization based on the customer segment. This structure assists businesses in reducing the chances of fraud and improving risk management. Among our onboarding options, we offer Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and document validation as well as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) compliant video KYC solutions.
Our AI/ML-based alternate data solutions assist BFSI and fintech companies in reducing Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) by providing alternative data sources and scoring models. We analyze multiple data sources, including bank statements, social media, telecom, employment, e-commerce, device data, and location. We offer market-leading underwriting solutions that help clients reduce risk and increase user life-cycle value.
TechGraph: How do you see technologies namely AI, ML, and Data Science can help the fintech and banking sectors tackle online customer frauds?
Nageen Kommu: AI, ML, and Data Science have the potential to identify patterns and anomalies in large data sets that may indicate a security incident. These technologies can also monitor for insider threats, which are increasingly prevalent in today’s digital landscape. By analyzing user behavior data and detecting unusual activity or deviations from normal patterns, AI-based systems can assist in preventing cybercrime and data breaches.
Fintechs are also experimenting with using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze unstructured datasets and applying techniques like generative models and reinforcement learning. With these developments, we can surely expect improved security to tackle online customer fraud.
TechGraph: How is the response so far to your Onboarding Suite and TSP for Account Aggregator Service?
Nageen Kommu: Digitap is offering the onboarding suite as independent APIs to its clients and there have been clients that are taking up individual solutions. We have had several requests for a comprehensive Loan Origination System platform to be provided to our customers, and that is what we are working on currently.
In terms of TSP for Account Aggregator (AA), the response has been great considering that it’s still early days for the ecosystem to mature. Most of our clients are eager to have the integrations in place for using the AA data and Digitap is at the forefront of providing that along with the analysis of the data.
TechGraph: What is the state of technology platforms like this in the Indian market?
Nageen Kommu: Fintech platforms like ours are currently experiencing an upsurge in new technological advancements. Nevertheless, this progress has also brought about a new set of challenges, including cybersecurity and fraud. To guarantee continued growth and stability, fintech firms must collaborate with relevant stakeholders and comply with regulatory guidelines.
On the other end of the spectrum, these technological innovations have significantly improved underwriting and customer onboarding processes. As a result, India’s objective of achieving financial accessibility and inclusion for all has been reinforced.
Fintech platforms have succeeded in penetrating markets that were previously underserved for prolonged periods and have introduced robust credit opportunities. This, in turn, has significantly bolstered the consistent expansion of the financial sector at large.
TechGraph: Digitap has collaborated with technology and banking partners to expand its footprint. Going forward, do you see more such engagements?
Nageen Kommu: Going forward, we want to deepen our relationship with banks and larger NBFCs who need data and help them in analysis, to better understand their end customers and their needs. Collaboration with technology players also helps Digitap in reaching its customers in a much faster way. Also, it enables Digitap to enhance its product offerings as well.
TechGraph: What are the latest innovations and developments at Digitap?
Nageen Kommu: We are currently working on expanding our solutions and products beyond the BFSI sector. We are developing AI/ML models that work on various data sources and develop models which will enable our clients to cross-sell and up-sell various products to their end customers.