India is emerging as a major global driver of post-pandemic growth with one of the fastest growing fintech markets in the world, driven by rapid changes in access to digital banking services among the population.
Overall transaction values through fintech platforms are expected to nearly triple in the next three years to $102 billion as several factors accelerate market development.
According to UK-India investment platform JPIN Venture Catalysts, the country has the second largest unbanked population in the world, a very low penetration of insurance, a huge millennial base, and a major focus on financial inclusion, where digitalisation provides the most cost-effective method of driving change.
Furthermore, the rocketing size of the Indian middle class, which will reach 140 million middle-income and 21 million high-income households in the next 10 years, is driving demand for digital services that already underpin life in Europe and North America.
The opportunity is attracting UK fintechs, with business banking platform Tide beginning a limited test launch in India this year.
Success abroad has the power to transform the platform, which has around 300,000 SME members in the UK and 340,000 business accounts, processing £10 billion of transactions annually.
India is seen as an ideal testbed for expansion, with more than 63 million SMEs.
Tide already has a technology centre in India with a team of around 100 software developers working on the platform.
Digital SME financial marketplace CreditEnable has also invested in India for several years, where its platform offers access to more than 20 lenders and 100 financial products.
Gaurav Singh (pictured), founding partner at JPIN Venture Catalysts, said: “India is one of the most exciting and lucrative global markets, where fintech adoption is the fastest in the world.
"UK fintech is also thriving, and the country's businesses are looking to expand - often into India's growing market. However, due to the country's rich diversity, language and cultural barriers, and fierce competition, businesses may find it difficult to expand without help on the ground.”
JPIN was founded a decade ago to build relationships between UK and Indian businesses, with co-founder Nayan Gala recently named one of the top 40 business leaders under 40 by the Europe India Centre for Business & Industry.
Gala said: “The UK-India bilateral partnership is worth £22 billion, up almost 10% on last year, and the UK-India tech partnership lies at the heart of that success.
“I already see start-ups from India such as OYO, OLA and others venturing into UK, and similarly UK start-ups such as TransferWise, Tide, and CreditEnable, accepted and expanding their operations into Indian markets.”
The UK’s international trade secretary Liz Truss recently visited India for talks with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal to discuss the first steps towards an India-UK free trade agreement (FTA), worth up to £50 billion.