FloBiz uses product/technology advancements to help MSMEs run efficient businesses
FloBiz is a neobank for small and medium businesses that aims to accelerate the growth of their businesses through technology. The startup is pursuing the mission of digitization to help build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by solving the most pressing problems of India’s SME sector. In conversation with Rakesh Yadav, Co-Founder and CTO, FloBiz to understand how they integrate the needs of SMEs on their platform to facilitate the understanding, operation and growth of their business:
1. What does the growth of the neo-banking sector look like in the current landscape?
Many neo-banking startups are building a competitive digital banking landscape. However, Indian neo-banks have yet to receive specific licenses or regulatory approvals. The RBI, SEBI and IRDAI mainly regulate the Indian financial sector. These regulators have introduced various initiatives and regulations more often in the recent past, for increased, consistent, transparent and safe accessibility to financial products through digital modes. All regulators have made great efforts to bring regulation up to speed with ever-changing technological developments in the financial ecosystem, and the innovations are commendable.
Having already established their technology and offerings, neo-banking players are abstracting solutions as building blocks and platforms for other players. With increasing competition among players in the financial services space, including traditional banks, new era FinTechs, technology companies and non-bank entrants, it remains to be seen whether the market is deep enough for newcomers to banks grow in a sustainable and equitable way. .
2.There is a lot of talk about mandatory e-invoicing, even for small businesses. How can SMEs/SMEs ensure they are aligned?
On August 1, 2022, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBIC) notified the lowering of the e-invoicing threshold to Rs 10 crore and above from 1 October 2022. The gradual reduction of the e-invoicing threshold made mandatory electronic invoicing for all categories of GST taxpayers.
The very first step for SMEs/SMEs falling below the range is to have a system/software for generating electronic invoices. Although this can be done through the government’s Invoice Registration Portal (IRP), businesses will find it easier to work with invoicing software that has an electronic invoicing module. myBillBook has recently added electronic invoicing to its invoicing suite and enables electronic invoice generation with just one click. Along with the convenience of having a single platform for all invoicing, reporting and accounting needs, it also allows users to use custom invoicing templates and store their e-invoices in the cloud for reference. anytime and anywhere.
In addition to having easy-to-use invoicing software, there are a few additional things to consider to align with hassle-free e-invoicing.
- Determine which transactions require electronic invoices and separate them from the rest of the invoices/documents
- Maintain source documents on their suppliers and customers to ensure correct entry of billing information such as GST ID number, bank account and consignee details
- Companies operating with modest numbers are more vulnerable to delays if they do not comply with a real-time invoice reference system that can generate IRNs (Invoice Reference Numbers) in sync with the process.
3.The technological and infrastructural advancements that FloBiz uses to improve products and services for external customers?
myBillBook- is a unique solution that helps SMBs create professional invoices (GST and non-GST), manage inventory, collect payments and automate reminders through smart banking, and generate over 25 reports such as GSTR, inventory and sales summary, general ledger party, etc. It helps SMBs digitize their invoicing, streamline business accounting, and automate their business workflows.
Currently, the app is available in four languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil. In the coming months, we plan to make the product available in six additional languages, and we will also foray into the neo-banking space with integrated banking, payments and bespoke financial services.
We have a very strong user research process and feedback cycle. This helps us stay on top of ever-changing use cases, keep our users happy, and improve their business performance through digitization. Some technology differentiators that helped us score high against older invoicing and accounting software are:
– Provide a SaaS (Software as a Service) offer with real-time cloud storage
– Users can work on our mobile app or on a native desktop or web app with real-time synchronization
– No downtime due to state-of-the-art engineering and technology infrastructure
– Available on Android as well as iOS
– Light sized app which can also be used on basic smartphones
– Holistic billing module including GST, Non GST billis, e-invoicing, e-way bills, delivery challans, POS billing
– Intuitive user interface without financial jargon makes the app usable by everyone
– ISO certification and data privacy standards
4.How have the pandemics reinforced the country’s need to go digital and the challenges it poses and how is FinTech positioned to address them?
In recent times, technology has paved the way for automation and transformation of the financial services industry in India. Advances within the fintech space are driving innovation significantly and enabling financial institutions to offer digital services and maintain market relevance.
The fintech segment alone is expected to reach $150-160 billion by 2025 and has huge potential for growth.
To put it simply, this fusion of finance and technology in recent times has encompassed all kinds of technologies leveraged with finance to serve both businesses and consumers.
Fintech in India is well past its infancy in terms of acceptance and growth within the financial services industry and the masses. This can be attributed to the increasing penetration of smartphones and the internet due to the consequences of the pandemic. Lots of exciting things are happening in the Fintech space and facilities like autopay, BNPL, payment aggregation, lending platforms, rewards points-based payment methods, neo-banking, and many other such things become real. FinTechs are poised to mediate between consumers and upcoming trends disrupting the industry. In addition, they help SMEs/MSMEs/non-initiated consumers to enter the field of financial credit. Space is exciting and ripe for more action. All stakeholders need to come together to work towards developing industry standard operating procedures for the benefit of the end customer.
5.How do FinTech platforms such as FloBiz meet data storage and privacy standards for customers?
myBillBook is an ISO certified product. It offers incredible flexibility to handle complex data challenges. The document template allows us to make changes and add new integrations quickly and easily. Our systems incorporate best-in-class security, management, and monitoring tools, so developers don’t have to spend time managing and securing the data layer. The myBillBook team also provides customers with a rich and complete mobile application. It is easy to synchronize data between the mobile device itself and the main database. This meant that even if multiple users were using the same account, logging out and logging in, there would be no issues, duplications or data loss.
The biggest advantage of our platform is to consolidate all services into a single unified data layer. With a single interface, development language and set of APIs, the team was able to create and maintain the entire myBillbook offering. The platform even includes native data visualization, which the team uses to visualize the deployment and monitor data.
Having all of these features in one unified database was extremely important to us. It saved us from dealing with the complexity of managing all these different systems and we had a single source of truth. It made us much more productive. We have accelerated our development time and this will provide us with huge opportunities as we start to do more with our data.