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Account Aggregators to connect underserved segments with financial sector: NITI Aayog

NEW DELHI, 28 February 2022: Ms Anna Roy, Senior Advisor, NITI Aayog today said that with increasing use of AI in the financial sector, we as policymakers and regulators need to take extra care that regulation or regulatory framework should not inhibit innovation. “This is the second wave of financial inclusion post the India Stack wave, now Account Aggregators will help us in reaching out to the underserved segments that remains out of the formal financial fold.”

Addressing the virtual conference on ‘AI in Indian Financial Services – Uncovering Ground Truth’, organized by FICCI, Ms Roy said that this is one of the key areas where privacy needs to be kept high. We are closely working on promoting account aggregator platform, which we feel is the future because while privacy issues are important, we also need to ensure to take proper consent by the data owner,” she emphasized. These account aggregators will help us in reaching out to those underserved segment which are still out of the formal financial system, added Ms Roy.

She further highlighted that with digital divide, digital literacy along with cyber security related issues, the use of AI in financial services has a lot of avenues. “In sectors represented by public goods, the approach of the government has been to take a lead and be the key driver, whereas in sectors like financial sector, the government’s role is more of an enabler and a catalyst,” stated Ms Roy.

Highlighting the importance of AI in overall financial sector, Ms Roy added that the government is also working to expand the use of AI in pension and insurance sector as well to benefit the customers and extend the coverage of social security schemes.

Stressing on the transparency in the policy and regulations, Ms Roy emphasized that the government adopts consultative approach while drafting any policy. “I think that kind of transparency in policymaking is extremely important, and all stakeholders need to work together towards a common goal,” she said.

Prof D Janakiram, Director, IDRBT said that artificial intelligence, banking and financial systems and cloud are the three technologies that are coming together to create a synergy for the next generation products. “People are looking at complete lifecycle management and support for all the aspects of their financial journey with the banking system,” he added.

He further said, “What has made AI mainstream today is the ability to build models with large data in less time.”

Mr Rashesh Shah, Past President, FICCI; Chair- FICCI Financial Sector Council and Chairman, Edelweiss Group said, “The three important use cases in financial services where technology is required are customer experience, innovation and in reducing intermediation cost.” He further added that we are on our path in reaching a $10 trillion economy in next 10 years and financial services will play an important role. “Data is the new oil, and AI is the refining power,” he added.

Mr V Govindarajan, Co-Chair, FICCI Fintech Committee and Co-Founder & Director, Perfios said with the start of account aggregators we will ensure that user’s consent is taken not only for using of the data along with the duration of using the data.

FICCI-PwC Knowledge Report ‘Uncovering the Ground Truth: AI in Indian Financial Services’, was released during the event.

Mr Vivek Belgavi, PwC India Partner, FS- Fintech and Technology Consulting Leader shared an insight on FICCI-PwC Knowledge report highlighting the AI maturity curve across financial services industries and top use cases per industry.  

Key Highlights of the report:

 83% of the BFSI sector believes that enhancing customer experience is the top driver for implementing AI: PwC-FICCI Report 65% of BFSI respondents believe they are ahead of their peers in AI implementation, despite the dynamically changing AI landscape.Enhancing customer experience is the top business driver for Indian financial services organisations to implement AI as per the PwC-FICCI report with 83% of survey respondents citing it as the reason for AI implementation. Additionally, more than 80% of the survey respondents from the banking and financial services industry say that they have deployed chatbots to make customer servicing easy. 

Top use cases: 82% of the survey respondents say that they have deployed chatbots to make customer servicing easy. 65% of them have deployed fraud detection AI engines, making it the second most common use case in the FS industry, followed by 56% who have deployed virtual assistants.

Top business drivers: 82% of respondents listed enhancing customer experience as the top business driver for implementing AI. Improving productivity (57%) and increasing revenue (56%) were the other main goals for adopting AI.

Top concerns: 60% of survey respondents cited the privacy of consumers and security of data and the approval of the use of AI engines as the biggest concern for AI implementation. Additional areas of concern were the integration, operationalisation and maintenance of AI infrastructure, and the very distinctive and progressive skills required for success in AI.

Data architecture: Less than half the respondents think they are ready to scale up to meet business needs for the next five years. 69% of respondents say that they have a single unified data repository and almost 40% have an enterprise-wide data governance framework. 

AI in the organisational structure: 34% of survey respondents said they had independent centres of excellence for AI-led innovation, followed by 21% who listed business units as the drivers of AI implementation in their organisations.