Taking a leaf out of the books of international fintech start-ups such as Questis and Future Penny, online investment platforms Scripbox and Aditya Birla Money
Taking a leaf out of the books of international fintech start-ups such as Questis and Future Penny, online investment platforms Scripbox and Aditya Birla Money MyUniverse are eyeing working professionals and corporates as their next big customers.
The companies, which sell financial instruments such as mutual funds and SIPs on simple, jargon-free online platforms, are looking at offering subscriptions to employees of various companies through their human resource departments.
“Work place investing has been a great growth factor for fintechs in the US. In India, no work place investment mandated apart from provident fund is mandated. We are in fairly advanced talks with several corporates to plan a strategy around this,” said Scripbox CEO Ashok Kumar.
Bangalore-based Scripbox, which has about 2 lakh subscribers at present, will first roll out pilots with a small number of firms to see if the model works.
ABM MyUniverse, which has a customer base of more than 4 lakhs, is specifically targeting employees through company intranet and HR systems. It has already begun running pilots with firms under Aditya Birla Group. “We think the adoption factor among employees will be high because people want to get the work done through one platform, in this case, the intranet,” ABM MyUniverse head Rahul Parikh said.
However, such a project comes with its own share of problems. For one, investing in mutual funds can be risky, and HR departments would not want to get involved. Another issue stems from the fact that most companies outsource their payroll systems to individual firms which have no incentive to integrate such offerings with their technology.
“Unlike the international market, where there is openness and readiness to try these things, India is a different market altogether,” Parikh said. However, continuously educating corporates about financial wellness and investments is something that companies hope will bring in change.
“Most companies are willing to offer gym memberships as an employee benefit, financial wellness is even more crucial in a setting like India…professionals need to be educated,” Kumar said.