FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Youtube logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Silhouettes of mobile device users are seen next to a screen projection of Youtube logo in this picture illustration

A former YouTube content moderator is suing the company over what she says were its “failure to provide a safe workplace for the thousands of contractors that scrub YouTube’s platform of disturbing content.”
In the lawsuit, which was filed Monday, the ex-moderator claimed YouTube’s negligence played a role in her developing PTSD symptoms and depression while on the job.
She also claimed YouTube ignored its own workplace safety best practices and that “underqualified and undertrained” wellness coaches told moderators to “trust in God” and “take illegal drugs.”
The lawsuit places YouTube back under the spotlight after The Verge detailed moderators’ oppressive working conditions and resulting mental health conditions in a report last year, as well as Facebook’s $52 million settlement over a similar issue in May.
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A former YouTube moderator is suing the company over allegations that it violated California law by failing to provide a safe workplace and protect moderators’ mental health, which she said caused her to develop “severe psychological trauma including depression and symptoms associated with anxiety and PTSD.”

In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed Monday, the ex-moderator claimed that YouTube, which is owned by Google, “failed to implement the workplace safety standards it helped create” and required moderators “to work under conditions it knows cause and exacerbate psychological trauma.”

The ex-moderator, who is not named in the suit, worked as a YouTube contractor via a staffing agency called Collabera from January 2018 to August 2019. She’s seeking to force YouTube to implement stronger safety guidelines as well as create and pay into a fund to cover the medical costs required to diagnose and treat her and other moderators who may have developed mental health conditions.

YouTube and Collabera did not respond to requests for comment.

Thousands of YouTube moderators spend hours each day reviewing hours of videos containing disturbing content such as rape, torture, murder, suicide, bestiality — anywhere between 100 and 300 videos per day with an error rate of 5% or less, according to the lawsuit.

YouTube has long acknowledged the mental health risks to which it exposes moderators — and even helped develop best practices for reducing them.

Despite that, the ex-moderator said YouTube: downplayed those risks during training and on the job; required moderators to work longer hours because of demanding quotas, high turnover, and the company being “chronically understaffed”; and tried to silence moderators who raised concerns through non-disclosure agreements.

She said in the suit that prospective hires are told they “might be required to review graphic content,” but aren’t given examples, told they’ll have to review such content daily, or that doing so “can have negative mental health impacts.”

She alleged that YouTube repeatedly refused to implement product features requested by moderators that could have made reviewing content less traumatic. In one case, she said, YouTube rejected a proposed change that would have taken just a few hours to create — and even reprimanded a moderator for raising the issue again following widespread ethnic violence in Myanmar.

Her complaint also raised issues with the “wellness coaches” YouTube provided for psychological support, which allegedly weren’t available at all to moderators working the evening shift. Even those who did have access “did not receive any on-site medical care because Wellness Coaches are not medical doctors and cannot diagnose or treat mental health disorders,” she said, calling them “underqualified and undertrained.”

When she met with one coach in 2018, the coach allegedly recommended that she “take illegal drugs” to cope. In another instance, her coworker said a different coach had advised them to “‘trust in God,’ advice that was unhelpful.”

At the same time moderators feared their conversations with wellness coaches were being reported back to management, they also couldn’t voice concerns externally due to YouTube’s “sweeping” NDAs and requirements that contract agencies like Collabera instruct moderators “not to speak about the content or workplace conditions to anyone outside of their review team, including therapists, psychiatrists, or psychologists,” her complaint alleged.

Because they would lose healthcare coverage if they quit, she said moderators were faced with a dilemma: “quit and lose access to an income and medical insurance or continue to suffer in silence to keep their job.”

The lawsuit brings fresh scrutiny to YouTube’s treatment of moderators, which received major attention last December when The Verge reported extensive details about the grueling conditions endured by moderators in Texas.

A former Facebook moderator brought a similar lawsuit in 2018, which the company settled in May by agreeing to pay a total of $52 million to current and former moderators who developed mental health conditions on the job. Third-party staffing agencies are also increasingly being swept up in the spotlight. Cognizant, a major firm used by Facebook and other tech platforms, ended its contract with the social media giant last year following reporting on working conditions from The Verge and Tampa Bay Times.

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Original Source: feedproxy.google.com

GirnarSoft, the parent company of India’s auto portals CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, and Zigwheels.com, on Tuesday announced it plans to invest $20 million in its subsidiary InsuranceDekho, an omni channel insurance platform.

According to a statement released by the company, the startup will use the funds to invest in branding and strengthening its tech, product, and sales teams.

Commenting about the investment, Amit Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, GirnarSoft, said,

“InsuranceDekho started as a modest initiative to complete the ecosystem play. Over the years, under Ankit’s leadership, it has taken a life of its own and ranks among the leading insuretech companies in the country. They have inherited CarDekho’s capital efficiency and tech prowess but are building a large and independent business of their own." "This proposed fund infusion is our vote of confidence in their ability to build India’s most enduring insuretech business in India,” he added.

Launched in 2017, InsuranceDekho is an insurtech venture that enables its consumers to compare different insurance policies based on their requirements and offering them the best choices available.

funding, startup

Image Source: Shutterstock

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Speaking about the new development, Ankit Agrawal, CEO and Co-founder, InsuranceDekho, said,

"In the first phase of our journey, we created a unique three-way marketplace of insurance consumers, India’s leading insurance companies, and distribution partners. This new capital infusion will be used to expand our digital footprint." "We are already a force to reckon with in the B2B space. With this round we aim to invest in branding and marketing to further strengthen our B2C platform, which has been seeing strong traction over the last two quarters.”

The online insurance platform has tied-up with over 26 general insurance companies. It claims to be at an annualised run rate of 20 lakh policies and intends to close March 2021 at an annualised run rate of 36 lakh policies. 

The company, which has over 12,000 partners in over 350 cities, foresees an accelerated shift towards digital platforms in the current environment.

Edited by Megha Reddy

Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding Course, where you also get a chance to pitch your business plan to top investors. Click here to know more.

Original Source: yourstory.com

tcpa cannabis

For some reason, many cannabis businesses believe that because they’re already violating the federal Controlled Substances Act, they’re free to violate other existing federal laws. This of course is not the case, and never has been. Even though cannabis businesses can’t get legitimate recognition or fair treatment from the Department of Justice or the Drug Enforcement Administration, it doesn’t mean that they’re otherwise exempt from compliance with existing federal laws, including consumer protection laws that apply to all businesses throughout the United States.

The latest legal debacle for unwitting cannabis businesses are violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA“). Plaintiffs’ lawyers are quickly recognizing how vulnerable/unaware cannabis businesses are when it comes to TCPA compliance.

Passed by Congress in 1991, the TCPA is a strict liability statute designed to fight incessant “robocalls” and aggressive/abusive telemarketers that plague unconsenting consumers. The TCPA provides, in relevant part:

It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States … to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice … to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service, specialized mobile radio service, or other radio common carrier service, or any service for which the called party is charged for the call, unless such call is made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States …

The Federal Communications Commission and courts agree that, even though the statute only refers to telephone calls, the TCPA also applies to text messages and faxes. The term “automatic telephone dialing system” means “equipment which has the capacity (A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers.” The truth is any automated phone communication of any kind may end up being a target under the TCPA as this area of the law and the regulations around it continue to evolve.

The TCPA is terrifying because of the statutory damages in play, which are uncapped: it prescribes a penalty ranging from $500 to $1,500 for each text, call, or fax made in violation of the statute (think about that the next time your marketing team sends out 1,000 text messages to your customer list). It’s not unusual for larger companies to be hit with verdicts in the millions of dollars in recent years. The TCPA is also scary because it has a fairly robust four-year statute of limitations. And as we noted in a previous blog post in regards to the TCPA plaintiffs’ bar:

[s]ome file complaints that have just enough basis to obtain a quick settlement – they know that smaller companies don’t have the bandwidth to really defend against these types of claims (especially because insurance policies usually have explicit TCPA exceptions!), so they figure they can make a ‘quick buck’ with a two-week shakedown.

In August of this year, Curaleaf was the largest cannabis operator to be on the defending side of a TCPA class action lawsuit. We wrote about the case here. Dispensaries in Michigan, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Nevada have also been hit with these lawsuits (multistate operators of dispensaries seem particularly vulnerable because they operate in multiple jurisdictions and often send promotional texts to drum up business). And at least one CBD company out of Missouri is also facing the heat of a TCPA lawsuit.

What can you do to prepare/defend your business for and against TCPA claims?

Get the express written consent of your customer base to contact them via phone, text, or fax. That (provable) consent is going to be your number one savior in the event you receive a TCPA demand letter or complaint.
Sufficiently and continually educate and train your staff and marketing teams around customer communications recordkeeping and consumer interactions concerning the ability to contact consumers by phone or fax.
Continually monitor customer contact consent in order to know when to cease contact accordingly.If a consumer revokes consent and you’re still contacting them by phone, text, or fax, you’re going to have big problems under the TCPA.
If you receive a TCPA demand letter or are served with a TCPA complaint, immediately notify your insurance company or face the risk of potentially losing defense coverage.
The TCPA does exempt certain entities from compliance. For instance, certain communications from non-profits are exempt, and if the communication, itself, is more educational or informational in nature rather than a commercial advertisement, the consent rules may not apply at all. This though is not an area where cannabis businesses should be cute over masking a real-time ad as a public service announcement (again, just go for documenting express written consent if you can).
The big target of TCPA claims is the use of “autodialer” equipment. Obviously, we’re in an age of text fever, so that’s probably the easiest way for most cannabis companies to reach large consumer bases (plus, it’s probably one of the best ways to comply with state-by-state marketing and advertising regulations). However, the more actual human involvement occurs with the consumer contact, the harder it’s going to be for a potential plaintiff to claim that the “telephone equipment” at issue satisfies the language in the statute.

TCPA litigation is  picking up every year, and it seems that almost on a monthly basis, more cannabis companies are facing potentially large scale TCPA class actions. At this point, cannabis businesses should stop questioning whether the TCPA even applies to them and should immediately get hip to compliance before incurring expensive legal battles and settlements for playing the odds.

For more on this topic, check out the following posts:

Cannabis Litigation: TCPA Claims
TCPA Claims: Will the Supreme Court Come to the Rescue?
Curaleaf Meets the TCPA

The post Prepare Your Cannabis Business for the TCPA appeared first on Harris Bricken.

Original Source: harrisbricken.com

Heads up! We share savvy shopping and personal finance tips to put extra cash in your wallet. Android Central may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network. Please note that the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are two of the most talked-about travel credit cards, thanks to the valuable Ultimate Rewards program, top-notch benefits and valuable travel protections.

You might assume that the Chase Sapphire Reserve — which comes with a higher annual fee and more luxury benefits — is always the better choice. It is the higher-tier card, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the better card for you. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred offering a higher sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months and travel understandably on the back burner for many cardholders, there are plenty of reasons why it could be the more attractive option for your wallet.

Before we get into the benefits of these two cards, note that you can’t hold the CSP and the CSR at the same time, and you need to wait at least 48 months between earning the sign-up bonus on one card before you can earn it on the other. Also, make sure you don’t bump up against Chase’s infamous 5/24 rule.

Travel coverage and purchase protection

It’s also worth comparing the coverage offered by these two cards for things like travel delays, trip cancellation and purchase protection.

An argument for the Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is obviously the more premium of the two cards. If you’re a frequent traveler, the Reserve will likely give you more long-term value.

Premium travel benefits

If you’re looking for premium perks, the Reserve is the way to go. You’ll get a $300 travel credit each year with the Reserve, a $100 credit for the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee every four years and a Priority Pass Select membership that gives you entry into airport lounges around the world. Plus, the card just added new benefits.

As part of a new partnership with food delivery service DoorDash, cardholders receive a $60 annual DoorDash credit to use on food delivery each year in 2020 and 2021 and a one-year complimentary subscription to DashPass (which waives the delivery fee at eligible restaurants and discounts service fees on orders of more than $12). Cardholders will also get a free one-year Lyft Pink membership, which includes a 15% discount on all rides and free bike and scooter rentals each month.

While some of these perks can’t be used right now, if you take advantage of these perks later on in 2020 and into 2021, you’ll more than offset the cost of the Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee each year.

Higher earning rates

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a higher earning rate than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Those who spend a lot on Lyft, travel and dining will find the added points per dollar on those purchases rewarding. For example, if you know you’ll spend $50 per month on Lyft and $1,000 a month on travel and dining

You can see that there is potentially a huge difference in earnings over the course of a year. Even though TPG values all Ultimate Rewards (no matter which card earns them) at 2 cents each, the Reserve provides $300 more in annual rewards value in the above example. The more you plan to spend in those bonus categories, the bigger the difference in rewards. Let’s say you spend $2,000 a month on travel and dining and the same $50 on Lyft. That would bring your Reserve earnings up to 78,000 points annually ($1,560 in value) versus 51,000 points with the Preferred ($1,020).

Keep in mind, though, that you won’t earn 3x on travel until you have used up your $300 travel credit.

Both cards have received temporary benefits from Chase to help cardholders maximize their cards while travel may not be in everyone’s 2020 plans, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve has understandably gotten higher temporary earning rates as well — 10x on select streaming services (on up to $1,500), 5x at gas stations (on up to $1,500) and 5x on Instacart (up to $3,000) through Sept. 30, 2020.

50% redemption bonus

In addition to a higher earning rate, the Reserve also comes with a higher redemption rate when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to redeem each point at 1.5 cents each, compared to 1.25 cents each with the Preferred.

I don’t typically suggest booking hotels through a third-party portal unless you find a great deal, because you typically won’t earn hotel points, elite credits or have your elite status recognized (though that isn’t always the case). But if you are regularly booking airfare through the portal, it’s worth having the Reserve for the higher redemption rate. A $600 plane ticket will cost you 48,000 points with the Preferred but only 40,000 points with the Reserve.

Through Sept. 30, this 50% redemption bonus also extends to grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishment purchases that can be erased through Chase’s new Pay Yourself Back feature.

Better trip insurance coverage

With more cards cutting trip insurance, premium coverage is harder to come by. Both the Preferred and the Reserve offer a great selection of travel insurance benefits but you get better coverage with the Reserve — almost double the coverage amount on some benefits like travel accident insurance and purchase protection. On its own, this may not be a reason to choose the Reserve over the Preferred, but when combined with the other additional benefits the Reserve offers, it could be a deciding factor.

An argument for choosing the Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred can’t compete with the Reserve when it comes to perks such as the annual travel credit and the return on bonus-category spending, but this card still could make more sense for you.

Lower annual fee

The first advantage of the Sapphire Preferred is the most obvious: a significantly lower annual fee. The Sapphire Reserve costs $550 per year while the Preferred costs only $95. Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit, which effectively lowers the cost to just $250 per year — a $155 premium over the Sapphire Preferred.

If you’ll be spending at least $300 on travel in a year anyway, it could be worth paying more for the Reserve. If that fee doesn’t seem manageable, the Sapphire Preferred Card is a very worthwhile alternative. In fact, I’ve held off on upgrading my own Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic and my limited travel spending in 2020.

The Preferred’s elevated sign-up bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently wins out over the Chase Sapphire Reserve by offering a higher sign-up bonus. Right now, you’ll earn 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, meaning this bonus is worth up to $1,600. By comparison, the Reserve is offering 50,000 points after you hit $4,000 in spend within the first three months, which is worth only $1,000.

Here’s the caveat: you can only receive one bonus from a Chase Sapphire card within 48 months, which means you need to choose carefully. The additional $600 in value you’ll get with the Preferred’s sign-up bonus is a compelling reason to apply for it over the Reserve. If you decide that you would get more value with the Reserve card’s features, you can always request an upgrade later down the line.

Same access to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners

Even though it doesn’t offer all the same premium benefits, the Sapphire Preferred Card offers identical transfer benefits to the Reserve card. No matter which card you choose, you’ll be able to move your Ultimate Rewards points (earned both through the sign-up bonus and through spending) to the program’s airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. Chase’s airline partners give you access to all three of the top alliances (Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam), so you’ll have a strong variety of options for putting your points to use.

The two cards do, however, differ when it comes to redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. With the Preferred, you’ll get 1.25 cents in value per point, while with the Reserve you’ll get a higher value of 1.5 cents per point.

Check out our guide on maximizing Chase’s transfer partners

You still get primary rental car insurance

Long before Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve, award travelers sang the praises of the Sapphire Preferred card’s auto collision damage waiver (CDW) benefit. This perk provides reimbursement for damage as a result of collision or theft for rentals of 31 days or less when you decline the rental agency’s CDW. If you’re eligible, you’ll be reimbursed up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the terms and conditions actually cap reimbursement at $75,000. (It’s unlikely you’d need more reimbursement from either card, since most rental cars are worth far less.) It’s worth noting that the Preferred’s coverage excludes “expensive, exotic and antique automobiles.”

No authorized user fee

There are various reasons to consider an authorized user. You could be looking to help someone build up his or her credit history; you might want to provide employees with cards for a business account or maybe you’re looking to earn bonus rewards for adding additional users. With the Preferred, there’s no cost to add additional users. With the Reserve card, on the other hand, it costs $75 per year for each authorized user (most likely because each gets his or her own Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access).

Easier to get approved

A final reason to consider the Sapphire Preferred Card over the Sapphire Reserve Card is that it could be easier to be approved for the Preferred. As an ultra-premium card, the Reserve requires a top-notch credit score. You’ll still need a solid score for the Sapphire Preferred (typically somewhere in the high 600s to the 700s), but you might have an easier time getting approved for that card if your score is on the low end of the optimal range.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has long been a TPG favorite. When the Reserve launched, however, it quickly became a go-to for luxury perks such as a Priority Pass Select membership and the annual $300 travel credit. You really can’t go wrong with either card; each has a lot to offer both beginners and veterans in the points-and-miles game.

If you’re looking at applying for one or the other right now, it’s important to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s elevated sign-up bonus. It’s worth hundreds of dollars more without the Reserve’s $550 annual fee. You can always request an upgrade later on if you decide the Reserve will better serve your travel needs.

Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 80,000-point sign-up bonus.

Featured photo John Gribben for The Points Guy.

Original Source: androidcentral.com

Launched in 2012, YourStory's Book Review section features over 250 titles on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital transformation. See also our related columns The Turning Point, Techie Tuesdays, and Storybites.

Transformations in the worlds of money and technology are converging, as described in the book by Sanjay Phadke, Fintech Future: The Digital DNA of Finance.

The material is spread across 17 chapters, and makes for an informative read for beginners new to this field. However, the choice of font could do with considerable improvement, and there are several typos; more figures would have been a welcome addition to improve readability as well.

Sanjay Phadke is the Head of Global Platforms and Alliances at Vayana Network. He describes himself as a “tinkerer (almost) and teacher (hopefully)”. He graduated from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and Sardar Patel College Of Engineering.

Here are my takeaways from the 190-page book, summarised as well in Table 1. See also my reviews of the related books Prediction Machines; Seeing Digital; A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence; Machine, Platform, Crowd; and The AI Advantage.

T

Table 1: Fintech transformations (image credit: YourStory)

Evolution of money

The invention of language and money are key contributions to the evolution of society, Sanjay begins. Money acts as a bridge from past to present and future. It is a form of payment and trust, and even a way to acquire more money through financial investment.

Money is a means of exchange and way of comparing the worth of different assets and services. It has deterministic, probabilistic, and even emotional connotations. Evolving from shells to coins and banknotes, currency and its governance are being transformed in the digital era.

While coins did not need numbering, banknotes do. Banknotes today account for only five percent of monies globally, Sanjay explains; the rest is stored in digital or ‘dematerialised’ form.

“Digital money is data,” the author observes, it is a string of characters, and does not derive trust from its physical form any more. New risks arise, of course. “No digital property can be guaranteed to be foolproof from digital theft,” he cautions.

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Key players

Banks, big tech giants, and fintech startups are the three categories of players in today’s financial scenario, Sanjay explains. The industry is tightly regulated, so governments and exchanges play a key role as well.

There are significant differences in the mindset and operations of banks and tech-led firms. Tech DNA is about rapid change, agile development, and learning quickly from mistakes to develop easy-to-use offerings. Bank DNA is about being cautious, paranoid, careful in experimentation, and slow change.

One chapter traces the evolution of the “finscape” in the US, China, and India. The US already had a mature system in place in the pre-digital era, with social security numbers, credit cards, and credit bureaus. “China and India, in contrast, had vastly underdeveloped ecosystems,” Sanjay observes.

The US tech players have now set high expectations for engagement among the younger generation of mobile-connected always-on users around the world. “Silicon Valley is coming,” in the words of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan.

The market value of US tech giants like Apple and Amazon is around half of India’s GDP, and they are entering the world of finance along with Google and Facebook as well, Sanjay explains.

Fintech 1.0

Mobile payments and digital-only banks are some forms of Fintech 1.0, Sanjay explains. Alibaba’s Ant Financial set up MyBank as a digital-only bank to offer loans to small businesses in just minutes. It draws on transactional and social media data, fed into AI scoring models.

Neo-banks do not have a banking license but partner with banks to offer banking services. Some existing banks have also rolled out their own digital-only banks, such as Fidor by JPMorgan Chase and Kotak’s 811.

Payment via QR codes has accelerated mobile payments even more. IoT and the emergence of 5G will speed up the momentum further. IoT sensors in vehicles are being used by automobile insurance firms; voice-based assistants and face-recognition technologies are other trends to watch in fintech.

Paypal was one of the first “native-Internet” fintechs. Microsoft is more likely to be a collaborator with banks than a competitor. Softbank is another player to watch, thanks to its investments in fintech startups, the author writes. Fintechs in other countries include Adyen (Netherlands) and Klarna (Sweden).

China has a highly-innovative landscape at scale, as seen in Alibaba’s Alipay, Yue Bao (money-market fund), and Sesame Credit (social credit rating). Ant Financial is the first of the “super fintechs," according to Sanjay. (See also my reviews of the related books Tech Titans of China, China's Mobile Economy, and AliBaba.)

There are new active players in wealth management, consumer loans and insurance. Alibaba also expanded into finance for logistics services, a move copied by other players around the world. Thanks to not having legacy baggage, China has created a “futuristic fintech ecosystem,” Sanjay explains. However, it is siloed into the BAT trio worlds.

India has emerged as a laboratory for global big-tech players, along with local firms like HDFC Bank and Bajaj Finance. Among startups, the book focuses largely on Paytm and not the broader spectrum of players. Paytm’s fortunes were boosted by events like demonetisation, and also received India’s first investment by Warren Buffet.

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Fintech 2.0

The world is awash with money, yet few get loans, the author laments. Cautious banks need collaterals, guarantors, or credit history data based on past records. Unfortunately, the aspirational needs of low-income or poor people cannot be fulfilled in such a system, even though India has 120,000 bank branches – the highest number in the world.

“The poor pay the highest for a loan and gets next to nothing on deposits,” Sanjay observes. Even remittances of foreign labourers are charged relatively high service fees.

Frauds and false identities have plagued the banking system. Digital transformation can help in this regard, but there are also risks regarding theft of data, money and reputation, the author cautions.

India’s larger fintech moves have been cautious and led largely by the government, as seen by inter-connected developments in the B2C and B2B sectors like biometric UID, UPI (Unified Payment Interface), and GST. The author identifies other developments as well, such as DEPA (Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture), PCR (Public Credit Registry), and AA (Account Aggregator).

Aadhaar helped Jio acquire a million customers a day, and reduced activation times. Jio is forging alliances with a range of tech giants, Sanjay observes. Digital technology and finance innovations helped spur the Chinese economy and created a vast pool of SMEs; it is hoped that a similar boom can take place in India as well.

The API architecture is spurring a range of innovations on top of existing digital infrastructure, driven by the talent of entrepreneurs. Hopefully, these combined developments can make access to capital easier and more automated, given the rapid growth of data communications in India.

The success of emerging economies like India depends on democratising access to capital as raw material for the needy, the author emphasises.

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InCred acquires Vishuddha Capital, to foray into asset management

Fintech 3.0

The author charts a range of technologies in the next wave of fintech, clustered as the new ABC: AI, algorithms, autonomous operation; big data, blockchain, bitcoin; and cloud, crypto, cybersecurity. Other trends to watch are quantum computing, which can also pose risks to security via the ability to crack codes.

Continuous feeds of data and powerful algorithms can improve automation and robustness of financial processes at scale. For example, they can improve assessment of ability and willingness to pay by better understanding social psychology (though overcoming bias will be a challenge). Spotting anomalies and outliers can improve fraud detection defences.

Bitcoin regulations vary around the world, but some blockchain features are being implemented. Hybrid systems may emerge in such a context, the author observes.

Platformisation combined with AI is a powerful combination. But countries have adopted varying positions on cloud infrastructure and data sovereignty as well (eg. EU’s GDPR), and trade wars have triggered off new moves in geopolitics.

If all goes well, however, the dream of making financial security and prosperity for all can become a reality when arteries of finance become unclogged, the author sums up. Innovation, agility and scale can be enhanced through financial ecosystem partnerships and progressive regulation.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding Course, where you also get a chance to pitch your business plan to top investors. Click here to know more.

Original Source: yourstory.com

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