The Future of API Banking in India – Interview with bNesis, a Startup Selected for the YES FINTECH Accelerator Autumn Cohort

YES BANK, India’s fifth-largest private sector bank, has been a pioneer of several key technology innovations since its inception in 2004. Continuing to be at the forefront of technology innovation and endeavors, YES BANK along with MEDICI (formerly Let’s Talk Payments – LTP) and PwC India opened applications to select startups for the Autumn 2018 cohort of YES FINTECH Accelerator.

The initiative offers a wide base for startups to tap into through co-creation and joint go-to-market strategy. Startups are presented with an opportunity to get access to funding of $1 million – all without any upfront equity commitment. YES FINTECH Accelerator gives startups an unencumbered opportunity to innovate with the bank and leverage access to VCs, technology, and 20+ global markets through ecosystem partners.

Today, we had the pleasure of speaking with one of the startups selected for the Autumn cohort of YES FINTECH Accelerator – bNesis, a Poland-based startup focused on building a unified API service aiming to reduce the complexity of integration with cloud services, social, payment, analytics, and other services into mobile apps. Instead of connecting necessary systems separately, customers can integrate just bNesis, which aggregates multiple systems from various segments. As a result, customers can get dozens of systems simultaneously, save time and money on integrations and their support.

MEDICI Team: Tell us about your company.

bNesis: bNesis helps banks to enrich the internal databases of Risk and CRM-connected departments with the data from external private, public, and governmental sources. Thus, banks can make more accurate loan decisions, better understand the borrowers and provide them with the simple and convenient loan application process

MEDICI Team: Tell us about the use case(s) which you’re targeting at YES FINTECH Accelerator.

bNesis: With bNesis, banks get ready-to-use and fully automated loan application platform. Any borrower (including enterprises) can easily apply for a loan online in several clicks. It is extremely valuable for millennials, micro, and small enterprises – to get money fast and in a convenient way.

At the website or in the app of the bank, the borrower gives the consent to analyze his expenses, income, social, e-commerce or any other data by just simple typing his login and password. Data from different external services and databases will be analyzed by our own scoring engine and model which was co-created with PwC to get the most value out of the data. Our models can be used on the top of the current ones used by the bank to better understand the borrowers and make more accurate loan decisions.

The platform we provide has a gamification mode which pushes the borrower to share as much data as possible. The statement is simple – the more data the borrower shares, the lower the interest rate of the loan and the better the chance of the loan being approved. The banks will have fewer bad debts, will simplify the whole credit application process, and will make it more convenient. Thus the bank will generate better interest margin and income.

bNesis combines multiple payment, e-commerce, credit bureau, governmental registries, social media, payment, and banking systems with all their functionality into a single solution, using their APIs. Instead of connecting necessary systems separately, wasting a lot of time and money on each of them, our customers need to connect only bNesis. As a result, they will save time and money on integrations and their support.

MEDICI Team: Do you think YFA is different from other accelerators? If yes, how?

bNesis: The main differences – and in our opinion – the main advantage of YFA in comparison to other accelerators is the acceleration program which is not a general program, and concentrates on the creating most valuable product for YBL which, in case of realizations, should be accepted by the bank.

Overall, we are very satisfied with YES BANK’s acceleration program.

MEDICI Team: What led you to apply to YFA? Can you describe your application experience?

bNesis: The desire to enter the Indian market in partnership with one of India’s largest and most innovative banks. The application process was very understandable and simple.

MEDICI Team: How do you see the future of API banking [digital banking] in India?

**bNesis: **We think that global API & digital banking will grow in the next several years because it’s a trend now and also because it provides a lot of benefits for the bank’s customers. We believe that it will be in India.

In India, we saw a huge amount of very interesting and perspective FinTech startups and we believe that they can be the power which can bring Indian and world digital banking on a new level.

MEDICI Team: How do you think the Bank-FinTech collaboration is changing in India?

**bNesis: **We believe – in India as well as the whole world – banks will start understanding that in the digital & information century, they need go online and provide their customers with more useful and valuable services. As a result, banks will start looking for FinTech partners who can help them provide more good quality digital services.

MEDICI Team: What is the most transformative change coming to your industry in the next three to five years?

**bNesis: **We believe that in five years, banks will reduce the number of branches, and the branches will focus more on zones for customer self-service and less for serving by humans. In addition, all the main banking products will be available completely online, therefore eliminating the need to visit branches.

MEDICI Team: What milestones do you have for the company in the next year?

**bNesis: **Conclude contracts with 25+ banks at least, and with five more in India.

MEDICI Team: Can you describe the significance of India as a market as part of your growth roadmap?

**bNesis: **Of course. The Indian market is very important for our growth strategy because India has one of the most fast-growing economies in the world and a huge market with great opportunities for development and a huge potential in the field of IT technologies.

MEDICI Team: As a foreign startup, what are the resources and support you need to enter emerging markets like India?

**bNesis: **As we are not local, the main challenge and difficulty for us would be to find a way to reach decision-makers in the Indian banks. That is the main support we would need to go to a new market.