Paisabazaar CTO Jagmal Singh on how AI, analytics and Cloud help improve lending processes and accessibility.
Jagmal Singh - CTO, Paisabazaar.com
Paisabazaar.com has become the one-stop destination for all types of loans, cards and investment products in India, in a short span of time. The company disburses loans worth USD 1 billion on an annualized basis to more than 450 cities & towns in India.
It works with over 90 partners--banks, NBFCs and mutual fund houses--and offer more than 200 financial products.
Jagmal Singh, the Chief technology Officer, has been spearheading technology innovations at Paisabazaar since 2017. Leveraging technology to transform the traditional ways of lending has been one of his core focus areas in the company. Singh elaborates on how technologies like AI, voice-based applications, data analytics and image recognition have helped the company in redefining processes and expectations.
Q: What is one of the most critical areas in personal financing where AI is significantly leveraged by paisabazaar.com?
A: As a fintech and one of the leading online marketplace, our aim is to provide each customer on the Paisabazaar platform a tailor-made experience and product offerings, that are unique to her needs and profile.
This also involves identifying and resolving customer pain-points, through data and technology.
In lending, for example, one of the biggest problems consumers face is that they are not aware which bank or financial institution will lend to them and apply for a loan almost on a whim. Last year, we introduced India’s first ‘Chance of Approval’ feature on the platform which tells a borrower her chances of being approved by each lender for the desired loan amount.
We leverage advanced predictive algorithm to match a borrower's profile with various lending criteria of banks and NBFCs. It provides customers with the chances of getting their loan application approved - Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor - against each lender. This helps matching each borrower with the right lenders. Since, our free credit score is integrated with our lending offers, through a smart engine, we are able to recommend the best-suited product for each consumer.
Q: How is automation addressing the issue of accessibility to services?
A: Paisbazaar.com is continuously innovating to make access to financial products easy and convenient. We have integrated our free credit score initiative with Whatsapp, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This enables the consumer to track his credit score seamlessly on his smartphone or through anytime access via voice-based applications.
This year, we will be offering a host of services through voice-based applications. Soon, Paisabazaar consumers would be able to check customized loan and credit card offers, loan application status, current value of their mutual fund portfolio, due dates of their SIP etc., in just a few seconds, through these voice-based platforms.
Q: What are some of the immediate results you have received?
A: Innovations like Chance of Approval help our customers make smart and informed lending decisions, which increases the approval ratio of the platform, and more importantly enables the customer find the best product for his needs.
Also, by directing the desired customer segments to our partners, we help them improve their operational efficiency.
Q: Paisabazaar has the support of azure. How do you handle the cloud challenges for around data sovereignty?
A: All our customer data is in India. Being an ISO 27001:2013 certified company is indicative of the fact that our customer data is completely protected in cloud, and periodic third party audits, VAPT and other required security process and measures are conducted to ensure the same.
Moving to cloud, along with adoption of newer technologies like docker and kubernotes, has given us the ability to scale in real time and deliver faster, more stable user experience across platform. Cloud also made it easier for us to process huge amount of data in real time while keeping our cost under control – both from infrastructure and people perspective.
Q: Being one of the biggest online players in the Indian cards and loan market, in what other ways do you think emerging technology is defining your growth path?
A: Emerging technologies like image and voice processing are enabling us to improve efficiency and customer experience. For instance, image processing will not only reduce the time taken to apply for a loan and enhance consumer experience, but it would also reduce errors that may occur sometimes due to manual entry of data.In near future, we will be launching investment advisory platform to recommend personalised investment plan on the basis of various factors, including user's risk appetite. Apart from this, we are also working on cutting edge voice-to-text capabilities for improving user experience at our customer support centre.