As India goes cashless, Israeli fintech firms Come Calling

As India goes cashless, Israeli fintech firms come calling - eustan ventures

As India moves for greater digitisation, Israeli financial technology companies are seeking a pie of the growing market in the country.

They are exploring collaborations and partnerships with Indian companies and banks looking for digital-age solutions for their respective businesses.

Nimrod Assouline, deputy chief of mission, Consulate General of Israel, told DNA Money, “We already have good collaborations in India across several domains – agriculture, academics and defence technology. We have now identified that fintech could be a very interesting opportunity as well for collaboration between Israel and India.”

Israel has a matured fintech environment with over 500 ventures that cater to local and global businesses.

A few such ventures were in India last week to discuss and explore collaboration possibilities in India.

Tal Sharon, managing director, Equitech, a consultancy working with fintech start-ups and companies, said they are working with Israeli ventures to go global including companies in India like banks, credit card and insurance looking at innovative solutions to conduct their business.

“If you compare 2016 figures in terms of investment in fintech in Israel and India they are very similar. While it was $450 million in Israel, it was around $530 million in India. But the difference in size of the two countries is enormous – around 9 million versus 1.2 billion people,” said Sharon, adding that Indian fintech companies are currently addressing the biggest need of the moment – payment solutions.

Apart from payments and binary options within fintech, Israel will also bring in themes like insure-tech, data analysis, fintech-telecom, finternet of things, loan solutions for digital health, cyber security.

Ariel Resnik, chief executive officer, Paretix, an Israeli technology solutions provider for real-time digital lending, said while Indian entrepreneurs are very tech-savvy they are not always business-savvy. “The focus in India is more on business-to-consumers (b2c) and not so much on business-to-business (b2b). We have already started talking to Indian companies on possible collaborations and partnerships here,” said Resnik, adding that his company was talking to payment and private banks for a collaboration.

With Aadhaar already playing a crucial role in the way banks, fintech and telecom companies are operating their businesses, Sharon believes, authentication as an area of specialisation will become very important.

“A lot of people are going to use unique identification for various activities including loans and financial services. This also opens a new threat because until now identity theft wasn’t a big thing in India but now it is, and personal information on Aadhaar is extremely valuable. Solutions from Israeli companies working in the area of authentication will prove very useful for Indian businesses,” said Sharon.

Equitech has identified 16 Israeli fintech companies that can cater to the Indian market. “These are ready for market and have ready products to start working with banks for implementation,” said Sharon, adding that banks have started showing interest in some of the products and services and that a few deals are likely to get concluded in a year or so

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