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The Benefits of Account Aggregators for Rural Financial Customers

Heading: Account Aggregators: Revolutionizing Rural Financial Services

Protean eGov Technologies, a new player in the account aggregator (AA) space, has recently gone live with its services in July 2023. In an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol, Bertram D’Souza, the chief product and innovation officer at Protean, shed light on the benefits of account aggregators for rural financial customers.

D’Souza highlighted that citizens residing in rural areas stand to gain the most from account aggregator services. Many individuals in rural India have bank accounts with state cooperative banks or regional rural banks, which may limit their access to loans from scheduled commercial banks or RBI-regulated entities. As a result, they often resort to borrowing from local moneylenders at exorbitant interest rates.

However, with the advent of account aggregators, these rural populations can now provide their bank account details to commercial banks with explicit consent. This data exchange between banks facilitates the processing of loan applications, enabling rural customers to access competitive loan offers.

Moreover, account aggregators streamline the loan application process by eliminating the need for borrowers to upload bank statement copies online. Instead, lending banks can retrieve financial data through account aggregators with the borrower’s consent, reducing processing time and minimizing errors.

While account aggregators offer numerous benefits, they also face challenges such as intermittent issues with account discovery or data fetches from financial information providers (FIPs). Additionally, there are limitations in linking joint accounts to account aggregators due to banking regulations requiring consent from all approved signatories.

Despite these challenges, the account aggregator ecosystem continues to grow, with a total of 148 FIPs and 406 financial information users (FIUs) currently live on the AA framework. This growth underscores the increasing adoption of account aggregators as a convenient digital solution for accessing financial data.

In conclusion, D’Souza emphasized the importance of selecting a trustworthy account aggregator that prioritizes data security and allows customers to manage and revoke consents at any time. As account aggregators continue to evolve, they hold great promise for empowering rural financial customers and streamlining the financial services landscape.


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