Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko and Ajeesh Achuthan along with ex-TaxiforSure CFO Deena Jacob, Open said it is solving business banking challenges faced by SMEs and start-ups. Open said it offers a business account in partnership with banks which helps businesses automate and run their finances effectively. This business account has tools that help businesses send and receive payments combined with the automated bookkeeping tool to integrate banking into their business workflows. The Open platform today has grown to over 1 lakh SMEs and was processing over Rs 35,000 crore in transaction. The company said its platform also adds over 20000 SMEs every month, making it the fastest growing SME focused neo-banking service globally.
Open is also enhancing its API (application programming interface) banking suite with the introduction of Layer - a programmable bank account that will enable developers to control money programmatically. It would also enable them to build their own features on top of the bank account and securely integrate with other services.
Open is based on the concept of a neobank, a type of direct bank that is 100 per cent digital and reaches customers on mobile apps and personal computer platforms. Neobanks which do not operate traditional physical branch networks may adopt technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, giving them an edge over the legacy systems used by the traditional banking players.
Globally, the big names in neo-banking include UK-based Tide, Atom Bank, Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank. The other players include US-based Azlo; Australia-based Tyro Payments and Volt Bank; Germany-based N26 and Netherlands-based bunq.
Over the past five years, fintech
has emerged as the most lucrative sector and the venture capitalists are investing billions in the sector to make profits. The digital banking market is set to grow from $7000 billion in 2017 to around $9000 billion by 2024, according to Global Market Insights, Inc. report. It said the increasing venture capital investment in fintech
sector is propelling the digital banking industry.