50p 2018

50p 2018

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

Praneeth Bodduluri


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

Submitted Dec 9, 2017

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


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