The accelerating pace of technological change in the financial services ecosystem today has forced many companies in the BFSI space to move aggressively and strategically to disrupt rather than be disrupted. Siloed traditional banking systems are not suited to the level of agility, adaptability, and scalability required for the digital age.

Navi and its tech-first approach are causing quite a stir in the BFSI space, using innovative automation technology to develop new services and business models. Kaushik Chandrashekhar, Head of Engineering at Navi takes you through the top three technologies driving Navi’s banking platform and aiding innovation.

#1 Machine Learning Reshapes Underwriting

The biggest challenge faced by lending institutions is credit underwriting. You can say that it is the most impactful problem statement in any lending business. Traditionally credit underwriting was done using rule-based engines, along with manual interventions to approve and disburse loan amounts in case of higher risk or high ticket sizes, to reduce fraud. We at Navi wanted to unlearn the traditional rule-based systems and let our ML models define potential risky customers.

So how do we do this? We require the bare minimal details from applicants to collate alternate data like the bureau data, geo-location, financial history and behavior, etc. Our ML algorithm and models also uncover patterns through an in-depth analysis of previous loan applications and loan histories to detect indicators of false identity, income and employment misrepresentation, inflated collateral, and straw borrowers. ML models make the entire process seamless, and we can come up with an offer within seconds.

The biggest challenge, however, is that for any ML model to learn, we have to wait for the entire loan repayment cycle to assess the customer’s repayment behavior and feed the learning back into our ML models. Our teams at Navi are continuously working to innovate to reduce this learning cycle.

#2 Highly Resilient and Scalable Cloud-native Microservices

The Navi platform is intended for core banking, with the loan management system (LMS) being one of the modules of the entire buildout. With this foresight, we’ve used domain-driven micro-services architecture, so diversifying into multiple fintech services will not be an issue for Navi in the future.

The resiliency and scalability of our platform are ensured through performance engineering and chaos engineering practices. We follow trunk-based development with CI/CD practices to deploy multiple times a day to several micro-services ensuring zero downtime and no impact on customer experience, resulting in a faster ‘time to market’, and shorter ‘feedback cycles’

We continuously work on the architecture of the banking platform to keep it evolutionary and are confident that our infrastructure will support Navi’s hyper-growth phase in the coming years.

#3 Neobanks are the Future

Mobile banks or neobanks are the way forward as the financial landscape is seeing a paradigm shift towards customer experience and convenience. This shift, coupled with the explosion of mobile technology, holds massive potential for neobanks to define the financial sector.

Is Navi ready to make an impact in the mobile banking space? Absolutely! We have no doubts about the scalability of our platform. Mobile banks being completely digital, need a tech-first approach. They are also customer-centric and require a high degree of personalized services with tailored journeys in the mobile apps based on our customers’ profiles.

For instance, we will have customers ranging from people new to fintech products to customers who have a lot of credit history in the past. Different ML models will have to be designed to collect and analyze patterns to improve the underwriting process to offer the ‘shortest possible customer journey’ on the mobile banking application.

Navi’s platform is built with this foresight and massive scale in mind to reduce risk, improve process efficiency, support better quality decisions and enhance the user journey.

Conclusion

It all boils down to customer experience. Every technological innovation at Navi is customer-centric. Great customer experience can only be earned with constant testing and improvement cycles. So be it machine learning, AI, micro-services architecture, or neo banking, we at Navi have the freedom to take risks, to innovate and experiment, to build a resilient and scalable product that focuses on enhancing the customer experience with a tech-first approach. This inherent culture at Navi makes us trendsetters in the BFSI space.

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