Online personal finance startups are hard. Like – really hard. Don’t take our word for it: take the recent examples: InvestoPresto shutdown, MoneySights shutdown, Paisa.com shut. But that’s never stopped entrepreneurs from trying.
Regulation, low levels of financial literacy and lack of instant gratification paint a gloomy picture for the industry online. But there are optimists too. Gaurav Khurana, a former banker is one of them.
In 2011, he launched a startup which helps customers buy financial products ranging from home loans to life insurance policies. By now, Dialabank has served over 1.8 lakh customers so far, says Khurana.
Dialabank has partnered with financial institutions and gets paid according to the amount of business it generates for them. The company fends about 150 calls a day in 18 cities. How is it different from a bank trying to sell you a loan? “We offer all products – Banking, Insurance and Investments on a single platform. It’s like a trained relationship manager for you,” says Khurana.
The company’s financial helpline at 60011600, is one of its kind, he added. What is the opportunity like? The Indian middle class population is higher than the population of the United States and presents an underpenetrated market, feels Khurana. “Clients in the financial services space face a lot of difficulty in comparing and selecting the right product,” he said.
Financial products in India are quite often hard sold by “consultants,” with dubious credentials. A helpline to call and understand products in detail are much needed. However, there are online comparison sites that help consumers pick products online. There are players like Policybazaar.com that have branched out to selling other financial products as well. The venture backed firm has been advertising quite heavily on television.