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Nandan Nilekani working on credit infra to help small businesses access to loans

Indian Startup Chamber

  • July 24, 2020
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In order to revive the millions of small businesses from the effects of pandemic on the economy, a major new technological innovation is currently under work in order to connect the lenders with the marketplace. Nandan Nilekani who is the architect of Aadhaar announced about it and said that it will fulfil the need of India to “democratize credit".

Nilekani who is the co-founder and non-executive chairman of Infosys Ltd made the announcement at the Global Fintech Festival, 2020. He also told that the initiative will be called Open Credit Enablement Network, or OCEN which is a credit protocol infrastructure will be built by iSPIRT, a think-tank of the software industry. OCEN will help in connecting lenders and marketplaces which will in turn help in utilizing and creating innovative financial credit products at scale.

The Account Aggregators could use the platform to include in their apps, credit offerings which will result in democratizing the access to credit and lower interest rates for borrowers. To turn this new credit rail into reality, iSpirt is working with State Bank of India, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, IDFC First Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd and Bajaj Finserv Ltd.

To manage data on behalf of consumers and to make the access to payment and financial service providers easier, Nilekani introduced the AA platform. The digital public infrastructure was developed with the help of major Indian financial regulators. The large portion of India’s lending capital is still going to big enterprises and many of the micro-enterprises which make up the India’s industrial backbone still don’t have access to credit.

This problem is still surfacing despite the digitization of India’s credit economy which has now allowed access to shorter duration and small-ticket loans. Digitization and account aggregator model will solve the problem of cost and data asymmetry for these small businesses. Credit protocol (OCEN) will help our economy to revive by funding these small businesses.

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