Founded in 2017, WorkApps with its enterprise-grade messaging platform for large organisations has been working towards enabling enterprises to augment their communication efforts, improve efficiency and change the way people collaborate and work together. “While we worked with enterprises, we realised the communication requirements for sectors were different and specialised and needed messaging solutions,” shares Rudrajeet Desai, Co-Founder and CEO, WorkApps.

The realisation saw the startup led by Rudrajeet Desai, Shankar Borate and Kaizad Shroff mastering workflows to make chatting as well as audio and video calling more effective for banks, NBFCs, insurers and the other players of the FinTech sector.

“Today, we are synonymous with being a video banking company. WorkApps’ video platform enables banks in the sector to migrate business processes and customer interaction to video channels,” he says.

This includes 14 key processes such as KYC, credit verification, loan and wealth advisory, customer support, online assistance during digital onboarding, video Medical Examination Report, and asset verification among others.

As the WorkApps’ video banking solution gained momentum, one use case in particular, began gaining increased traction – the VideoKYC. Further impetus came in the form of an RBI amendment to the KYC norms in January 2020 that allowed banking and other lending institutions regulated by it to use Video-based Customer Identification Process to onboard customers remotely. And, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the nationwide lockdown thereafter, and the need for minimising physical interaction saw the video KYC solution gaining increasing significance so much that VideoKYC has been rolled out as a product in itself within the larger gamut of the WorkApps’ video banking solution.

Watch the video to see how VideoKYC makes it easy for banks, NBFCs, payment banks, small finance banks, wallets, fintech to onboard customers remotely seamlessly

ALSO READ

How MapmyIndia built much needed map-based COVID solutions and mapping & location APIs leveraging AWS Cloud

Building on AWS

While the environmental factors provided the nudge for accelerated adoption, the key growth drivers for VideoKYC have been its depth of features, smooth user journey, security and data ownership. And AWS has played a key role in enabling this. “VideoKYC’s development, staging, testing and production setups are hosted on AWS enabling a product company like us to focus only on core product and feature development. It helped us reduce the effort required to deploy and manage development infrastructure by almost 80 percent,” says Rudrajeet.

This has translated into a faster time-to-market. “What would otherwise take three months gets done in three weeks when you are leveraging AWS services.” Pointing to the face match with documents feature on VideoKYC, Rudrajeet says it would have been extremely challenging for a small startup like WorkApps to create a face comparison feature on its own from scratch. On AWS, it’s literally like a takeaway. You can integrate a face comparison feature by leveraging Amazon Rekognition in just about three hours.”

In addition to Amazon Rekognition, VideoKYC uses a range of services like AWS Elastic Load Balancer, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for MySQL, Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, Amazon Elasticsearch Service, AWS Lambda, Amazon CloudWatch, and Amazon Simple Email Service, among others.

“The Video KYC platform runs on different traffic such as https, web sockets for web and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)/UDP (User Datagram Protocol) for audio/video traffic. The different load balancer options such as Application Load Balancer (ALB) for https and Network Load Balancer (NLB) for TCP and UDP available on AWS Elastic Load Balancer addresses our different needs. The inherent capabilities of these load balancers to scale for different loads solve our scalability concerns,” explains Shankar, the CTO and Co-founder. And, given that different banks have different capacity needs, which also vary at different times during a day, Amazon EC2 helps to scale up and down the infrastructure, providing cost savings in addition to flexibility. VideoKYC also leverages Amazon Simple Email Service to send notifications to email and uses AWS Lambda to call their messaging service to integrate alerts to its chat platform. “This way we can see all the alerts in e-mail as well as in the chat application,” says Shankar.

The AWS advantage

The breadth of AWS services, its ability to facilitate scale, and the quick turnaround time to setup infrastructure were critical aspects that led VideoKYC to choose AWS. But another but equally critical reason to choose AWS was its strong security framework.

“AWS provides many native security features, which are required when you operate in the Banking and Financial Services space. And, KYC in particular is a highly regulated subject in India because you are owning very critical information such as bank account details, Aadhar card details, among others,” says Shankar.

AWS provides different security control such as Virtual Private Network (VPC),Security Groups, and Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles to control the accesses of infrastructure along with secure connections using Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Secure Shell (SSH), Shankar explains.

While VideoKYC offers a number of deployment options – from a complete SaaS model hosted on AWS (Mumbai Region) to Hybrid SaaS model to private cloud or even traditional on-premise model, most of its clients are on AWS. “So this makes deploying and managing our platform on their AWS infrastructure extremely simple, reducing the time-to-market and the cost of management and support.”

A pioneering effort

Today, VideoKYC powers over a million transactions for India’s top banks, which includes Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, RBL Bank, and Yes Bank. In addition to that, other BFSI players like HDFC Life, Aditya Birla Capital, Max Life Insurance, Tata Capital, Muthoot Capital also use various other services of WorkApps. Rudrajeet says that VideoKYC has been a pioneer in the space. “We were the first to launch the solution with Kotak 811, and today we are also the largest deployed solution in the BFSI sector.”

The on-ground impact speaks for the efficiency and effectiveness of VideoKYC.

“It has brought down the customer onboarding time to 15 minutes from an average of 48 hours as is the norm in a physical KYC process. Banks also save about 90 percent of the KYC cost when done on video. In addition w.r.t. the consumer convenience perspective, the impact is massive,” says the CEO. He adds, “The Video KYC platform, which is deployed on AWS by most of our customers has become the largest customer acquisition channel for banks in India.”The global opportunity

Reflecting on VideoKYC, Rudrajeet says creating a video KYC platform when there was no set precedent and then working on it to develop and nurture into a market-winning enterprise grade platform has been a journey that has catapulted the startup to growth.

“VideoKYC has today become a WorkApps’ flagship product.” The support of angel investor Sashi Reddi (SRI Capital) has also provided the startup much needed guidance on building a global product.

The founder explains that the startup’s strong understanding of the banking and NBFC sector and its dominance in the Indian market has doubled up as an advantage to further its global expansion plans. “The volume that Indian banking players handle is very large. In fact, the volumes handled by one single leading banking player in India is often equivalent to an entire country’s banking volume in some cases. In addition, when it comes to digital banking regulations, India is a forerunner in the space. So, there’s a lot to learn from India for other markets.” It has already channelised efforts in the direction by launching in Thailand in August. “We are in talks with local banking players,” reveals the Founder. Middle East and SouthEast Asia will be a key focus area for VideoKYC's global expansion in the coming months. “While the KYC regulations will be different across regions, we are looking at co-creation to win the market,” says Rudrajeet.

Industry experts say that the accelerated shift to digital will fundamentally change the way banks will scale and grow. Rudrajeet concurs and says “Video will be the future of banking and WorkApps aims to become the default video banking platform for the sector.”

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

Vernacular.ai

Akashay Deshraj and Sourabh Gupta (L-R), Founders of Vernacular.ai

Sourabh Gupta and Akshay Deshraj came to Bengaluru in 2016 after graduating from IIT Roorkee. The duo was among the thousands of engineers who flock to the city every year with hopes to become entrepreneurs and start another Ola, Swiggy, or Flipkart. 

Not sure of the problem they wanted to solve, they started doing what most potential startup founders do – they attended as many events as possible, kept meeting people and making new connections, and never stopped reading.

In a recent conversation with YourStory, Sourabh said, “By then Reliance Jio was already here, and everyone was talking about the next 500 million internet users.” 

In order to explore what these ‘next 500 million internet users’ wanted and the problems they faced, the two friends started visiting villages in and around Bengaluru. In one of their visits to Kanakapura, a small town situated 55 kilometers from Bengaluru, they finally found the problem they had to solve. 

Sourabh recalls having met a farmer who had a very particular and long-existing problem.

“I receive SMS on my phone from the bank. I know the message is from the bank because it has numbers, but I cannot understand what the SMS means because it is in English,” the farmer told him.

He (the farmer) had to cycle 10 kilometers to the bank every time he received an SMS to get the bank manager explain to him what the message meant. Most of the other farmers, across villages, faced the same problem. 

“This was when we knew that the next generation of internet users are going to be voice-first,” Sourabh says. 

After months of research and development, the IIT graduates launched their company Vernacular.ai. Based out of Bengaluru. The startup is transforming customer interaction through its artificial intelligence (AI) based voice assistant – VIVA. The startup empowers locals and equips enterprises to cater to the non-English speaking population of the country. 

Vernacular.ai currently serves more than 25 enterprise clients in 16 different languages in the banking, insurance, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors. This includes the likes of Axis Bank, OYO Rooms, and Barbeque Nation, among others. According to the startup, it helps enterprises automate their call centre operations by up to 80 percent. 

Artificial Intelligence

Image Source: Shutterstock

Also ReadHow SaaS startup Vernacular.ai is going global as voice AI adoption accelerates amidst COVID-19Bumpy ride 

The journey from being a college student to a startup founder was not an easy one. When Sourabh was still preparing for the IIT-JEE examinations, the likes of Flipkart and Ola were ‘making a scene,’ says the Co-founder and CEO. 

“I wanted to start a business of my own. I went to IIT not to become an engineer but because my parents wanted me to,” says Sourabh.  

Back in college, Sourabh was the Head of the Entrepreneurship Cell in his final year of engineering. During the events, he met his co-founder Akshay. The duo worked on a couple of projects together as well. 

When they came to Bengaluru, not many people took them seriously for their age, Sourabh tells YourStory.

“When we expressed that we wanted to build a B2B business, we were told that enterprises want ‘grey hair’ to sell them something,” Sourabh says.

Additionally, there was a misconception that in order to create a deeptech platform, a startup needed a PhD scholar to understand the nuances of the platform. Being fresh out of college did not help Sourabh and Akshay. 

Cracking the deal 

Coming to a new city and without a job, the duo borrowed money from their parents for the basics. “At a time when everyone sends money back home, we were asking our parents for financial support,” he adds. And with this, came the incessant questions regarding the progress. “All we were doing was reading!” Sourabh says. 

Having incorporated the company in October 2016, Vernacular.ai was finally launched towards the end of 2017. Within the first 35 days of its launch, the startup raised an undisclosed amount as seed funding from Kstart Capital, the seed programme of venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. Recently, in May this year, it further raised $5.1 million in its Series A round. The round was led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital. AngelList, IAN Fund, and LetsVenture also participated in the round.  

Going forward, Sourabh says, “We will now be scaling exponentially and invest heavily in R&D for Indian and South-Asian markets.” 

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

Kali Roberge headshotCourtesy Kali Roberge

 

My parents taught me great savings skills growing up, and I didn’t take on any debt until I bought my first home at age 30.
But I realized I didn’t learn about investing from them, because they never really had to invest. 
So I set out to learn, blogging about my experience along the way, and settled on a passive investment strategy and a Roth IRA to start.
Sign up to get Personal Finance Insider’s newsletter in your inbox »

I was lucky to grow up with parents who constantly talked about the importance of saving money. Their advice helped me get started on the right financial foot as an adult.

They instilled in me the belief that I should never spend money I didn’t have, something I took so seriously that I managed to live debt-free until the age of 30 (when I took out a mortgage to buy a house).See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

Why your bank is holding your check, and what you can do about itAs a financial planner, I wish more people had disability insurance and understood 4 things about itThe average bank interest rates for savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, and loans

Original Source: feedproxy.google.com

National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) on Wednesday launched UPI AutoPay functionality for recurring payments.

With this new facility introduced under UPI 2.0, customers can now enable recurring e-mandate using any UPI application for recurring payments — like mobile bills, electricity bills, EMI payments, entertainment/OTT subscriptions, insurance, mutual funds and loan payments, paying for transit/metro payments, among others — of up to Rs 2,000.NPCI

Arif Khan, Chief Digital Officer, NPCI

Also ReadConcerns over transactions on third party apps like GPay can be redressed: NPCI

If the amount exceeds Rs 2,000, customers have to execute every mandate with UPI PIN, NPCI said in a statement.

Any UPI-enabled application will also have a 'Mandate' section, through which customers can create, approve, modify, pause, as well as revoke auto debit mandate, it said.

The section will allow customers to view their past mandates for their reference and records. UPI users can create e-mandate through UPI ID, QR scan or Intent, it said.

The pattern for auto debit mandate has been created keeping in mind customers' spends on recurring payments. The mandates can be set for one-time, daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly, it added.

"Both, individual users and merchants can benefit from this feature tremendously, as mandates are generated instantly and payments get deducted automatically on the authorised date. The customers have to authenticate their account through UPI PIN for one-time and subsequent monthly payments would be debited automatically," NPCI said.

Some of the banks, merchants and aggregators who have already gone live with UPI AutoPay are Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank, HSBC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, AutoPe-Delhi Metro, AutoPe-Dish TV, Policy Bazaar, The Hindu, Times Prime, Paytm, PayU, and RazorPay, among others.

Jio Payments Bank, State Bank of India and YES Bank will soon go live with UPI AutoPay, it said.

"We believe this unique facility would enable customers streamline their recurring bill payments and help them get rid of paying those bills manually," SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said.

With the RBI continuously encouraging customers to adopt digital payments, offerings like the launch of UPI AutoPay would further attract customers to on-board UPI and witness a new arena of digital payments.

The UPI 2.0 offers features such as overdraft facility, one-time mandate, invoice in the inbox and signed intent and QR and foreign inward remittance among others to the customers.

(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

Banking and finance plays an essential role in driving the growth of the Indian economy. In the past few years, we have seen the rise of fintechs and digital wallets, which has led to a massive increase in the financial inclusion of the Indian population, especially in rural areas.

To prevent fraud and money laundering, the BFSI sector needs to comply with KYC norms that were introduced by RBI and are based on the Government of India’s (GOI) PMLA Law of 2002.

Aadhaar-based KYC verification had simplified the process and reduced the time taken by the BFSI sector to on-board customers drastically. But, things changed with the Supreme Court order dated September 26, 2018, declaring the use of Aadhaar-based KYC by private players as unconstitutional.

To overcome this challenge, RBI has introduced Video KYC as an alternate tech-driven mode of KYC in its notification dated January 9, 2020. It is based on the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was introduced by the government on June 24, 2019.

video kyc

The RBI amendments state that “with a view to leveraging the digital channels for Customer Identification Process (CIP) by Regulated Entities (REs), the Reserve Bank has decided to permit Video-based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) as a consent-based alternate method of establishing the customer’s identity, for customer on-boarding”.

Also ReadBanks can use Aadhaar for KYC with customer's consent: RBI

Contactless on-boarding during COVID-19

Video KYC could prove to be a tremendous boost for private and public banks, lending companies, prepaid wallet players, insurance, financial securities, and non-banking financial institutions. They are now looking for a contactless and paperless customer on-boarding process while still being 100 percent compliant with RBI guidelines.

The Video KYC provision allows bank officials or regulated entities (RE) to remotely verify the customer’s identity using Aadhaar or PAN card. To ensure the integrity of the Video KYC process, RBI encourages REs to adopt AI-driven and face-matching technologies.

However, there are certain guidelines laid by RBI to comply with before initiating this process. The audio-visual interaction is triggered by RE’s domain, and the Video-Based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) shall then be operated by the officials that are specifically trained for it.

This could significantly reduce the time from a five to seven-day process to three minutes to on-board a customer remotely. It will allow BFSIs, NBFCs, and e-wallets to provide superior customer experience and will reduce on-boarding costs by 90 percent.

Beyond compliance: a competitive differentiator

While Video KYC has enabled banks to ensure compliance with remote on-boarding, customer drop-offs remain the biggest challenge.

To complete the Video KYC process successfully, customers need to have their Aadhaar, PAN card, and other documents to verify the signature handy. It needs a pre-scheduled time and many times banks would need to chase customers to get this KYC interview to happen.

This then becomes an important step in the on-boarding journey and needs to be looked like a sales funnel.

To ensure higher video KYC completion rates, BFSI companies need to put the effort into reminding and scheduling the video KYC recording at the customer’s convenience. Experience would be key here.

Banking and finance companies that can make this process hassle-free for users have the highest chance to reduce drop-offs and on-board more customers.

Let’s say, for example, a bank ABC uses only outbound calls to remind customers to complete their KYC. Another bank DEF uses other non-intrusive channels, like SMS or WhatsApp, to remind customers and even allows them to reschedule KYC recording on the go.

DEF bank gives the control of KYC completion to the customer who can complete the process at his convenience rather than just getting interrupted by a voice reminder of bank ABC.

This superior customer experience can become a competitive advantage for banking and finance companies to acquire more customers and gain a higher market share.

Future of video KYC

Video KYC is here to stay and will become the de facto choice of customer identification.

We see many tech investments happening in this space to make the system more robust and ensure the integrity of the video KYC process.

Some of these are

AI-based face recognitionEnsuring good video quality for low networksVideo compression to reduce storage space requirement while ensuring integrityFraud and spoofing attack preventionScreen sharing for Aadhaar offline KYCConcurrent audits to fast-track the processAutomated omnichannel reminders and schedulers

The acceleration towards digital adoption in the banking and finance sector is expected to rise with the introduction of video-based digital KYC.

While the banking and finance sector has been discussing digital transformation for long, COVID-19 has left them with no option but to implement it. Many of them have started using alternate modes of engagement like WhatsApp and IVR. Video KYC is also enabling them to manage compliance requirements.

The BFSI sector can integrate video KYC as part of the customer journey workflow to on-board customers digitally while still ensuring compliance with RBI guidelines.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

Want to make your startup journey smooth? YS Education brings a comprehensive Funding and Startup Course. Learn from India's top investors and entrepreneurs. Click here to know more.

Original Source: yourstory.com

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Instagram