50p 2018

India's first independent conference on payments and the payment ecosystem

Building a Fintech startup and losing 10% : Stories from the field

Submitted by Praneeth Bodduluri (@lifeeth) on Saturday, 9 December 2017

Section: Crisp talk Technical level: Beginner

View proposal in schedule


This talk gives a gist of Traditional/Co-operative banking, Banking software, Wallet ecosystem, Mutual fund APIs/Products, Investment advisory, Lending, Insurance and the regulations that sit behind them in India. In July 2017, A friend and I quit our jobs to start a Fintech company. In the months that followed, we ended up navigating and learning quite a bit about various pieces that constitute the Indian financial ecosystem. The talk is in the format of a timeline since we started up, from the point of view of someone who never worked in the Banking/Fintech sector and hopefully delivered to be a little funny.


  • Day -1 : We have this figured out - We want to build this - Lets quit, register a Pvt Ltd - Fintech ecosystem seems so startup friendly - We should have an alpha product out in a few months.
  • Day 0 : Yaay! - Company registered - Lets build our product around a traditional bank account - they have APIs - We can consume them securely - Just need to tie up with the Financial Institution and build.
  • Day 1: Hey there - (In Person and on Email) - We are XYZ, we have been following the amazing things your Financial Institution is doing. Here is a presentation on what we want to build - Lets make this happen.
  • Day 15: Looping in Mr A - Day 30: Looping in Mr J……
  • Day 30: Looks like it is going to take a while for Financial Institutions to get back to us - Let’s see if we can prepare to add Mutual Fund support to our product.
    • How to go about getting the permission to sell mutual funds?
      • Looks like we need to write an exam
      • Lets read the prescribed book - (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
    • We need APIs - Who are the different providers for the APIs?
    • Payment mechanisms used for Mutual Funds - Quick run through of currently live ones and their ease of use.
  • Day ..: Lets approach more Financial Institutions for building around traditional bank accounts.
  • Day ..: Lets see if there is a way to build a bank
    • Co-operative banks seem doable
    • Regulation behind Co-operative banks
    • Why it makes sense to build for Co-operative banks
    • Co-operative banking software and IDRBT
    • What next?
  • Day …: Capital requirements for regulatory approvals for different products in the Financial ecosystem. (Spoiler Alert: Not a small number) and IMHO - the need for a different process of regulation.
  • Day ..: Lets also try to be SEBI Registered Investment Advisers in the meanwhile
    • Why?
    • Looks like this one has two exams
    • (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
  • Day ..: Maybe Financial Institutions are not yet ready for building around traditional bank accounts (Opinion on why this might be). Lets see if we can build around a good old wallet.
    • Try to reach out to various Wallet players
    • Few are interested in allowing us to build with them:
      • How do this work?
      • Explained with examples showing existing wallet partnerships in the market
    • October 12, 2017 - New PPI guidelines from RBI
      • PPIs with KYC are just as good as current accounts with 1L balances - This is amazing.
      • PPIs require the wallet provider to limit the maximum balance of a user across its various partnerships.
    • ….
  • Losing 10%: Revealed during the Talk

Speaker bio

Praneeth is a coffee drinking - challenge loving - hacker - tinkerer. In the past he was involved in trying to build an embedded systems startup, launching a student satellite, running reliability for an IoT startup and trying to complete a MSc in physics. These days he is found doing -> (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ , while working on baseaccount.com


  • Zainab Bawa (@zainabbawa) Reviewer a year ago

    This is an interesting experience story, and will help bring out pain points that others, who similarly want to start out in payments and FinTech, commonly face, and how to build shared resources for such common problems.

  • ravi balgi (@ravibalgi) a year ago

    very interesting story. outsiders to banking go through similar thought chain.

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