Future of Expense Management in India

The year 2015 was called as the year of financial technology. With the Make In India initiative that was launched in September 2014, Indian startup scenario saw a boom of startups and more so, FinTechs in 2015.Indian FinTech also saw a major leap in fintech investment, as total funding jumped past US$1 billion for the first time. So, it came as no surprise when the year 2016 started on a high. The inception of banking without real physical banks was beginning to take shape. The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) granted licenses for setting up Payments Banks to 11 entities. Fintech companies dove into offering mobile phone-based money transfer and a variety of finance services on a smartphone without even opening an account. Through the year, mobile wallets have become an indispensable tool to pay for services and products. Indian customers have shown an unexpectedly fast rate of adoption to fintech offerings.

With FinTechs venturing into more than just payments technology, investor interest is beginning to manifest itself in a variety of sub-segments such as investing, lending, wealth management, credit reporting among others. Academic institutions contributed their bit by setting up angel funding and entrepreneurial conclaves within campuses to holistically foster this spirit.

This immense support, which was negligible five years ago, only shows the rate at which the country is willing to grow. While a strong foundation has definitely been laid, 2017 is all buckled up to see a drastic growth in technology as well.

Despite the enormous progress we witnessed last year, it seems like just the beginning for what can be done. The demonetization move by the government threw the country into a tizzy. It probably came at the right time, propelling the country further towards a cashless economy. FinTech startups reported a 10x increase in use, with many of them extending out into tier 2 and 3 cities.

One of the sub-sectors which came into limelight towards the end of 2016, just when demonetization was introduced was automated expense management. In a place like India, that’s riding on a wave of entrepreneurship, digitization and automation, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number is highly welcoming to the idea of automating business expense reporting.

Companies are looking to increasingly make lives easier, employees productive and organizations profitable. The 21st century world is being driven by data, and it’s only fair that companies are looking for significant data and transparency in their business spends, and are preferring solutions offering deep rooted insights into their business expenditure. The motto is not just to enhance the existing process but also to leverage analytical capabilities and visibility that can help companies drive efficiency, forecast and plan better for corporate finances.

As per research, integration, analytics and mobile apps are the three key factors that can help companies succeed at a faster pace. When incorporated, these factors add edge and value to the businesses. Corporates are increasingly seeking to go for either card-based solutions or solutions that allow a seamless integration of corporate cards.

Mobile apps at our fingertips, be it Uber, Swiggy, or Big Basket, are ruling the day with the increase in convenience that’s being offered. It was about time businesses seek app-based solution for easing their expense reporting cycles as well.

On a final note, the next generation software should be something that gives users an unprecedented experience in expense management and allows organisations to emphasize on what’s really important to make their businesses better.

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