I am a product manager at Scripbox. I'll be happy to answer your questions.
1) While I cannot speak for others, at Scripbox, the recommendations are useful. However, they are just one aspect of why Scripbox is useful for long term investors. We even publicly disclose our funds list without having to sign up.
At Scripbox, we focus on behavioral sciences to ensure your profits are maximized by eliminating human biases that creep in. Some of these biases are fund peer reviews, holding on to bad funds, not factoring in exit load/taxes during withdrawal, investing in the right category, not getting swayed by market movements etc.
We do not push funds based on commissions. I don't think anyone would do that because your credibility is at stake. If your customers do not stay with you, you do not make money. The extra 0.5% you might get because of higher commissions is simply not worth it.
The deal is - do what is right for the customer. That's what we focus on. Sometimes, we even politely turn customers away because they might not be the right fit for us. This is also the same reason why limited the choice of funds even though that means lower business for us.
2) This is the wrong way to look at it. SIP/RD is simply a means of achieving a financial goal. Considering SIP as a RD alternative is equivalent to saying Flight is an alternative for road transport just because both of them let you travel from point A to point B. What we typically suggest is - understand what you are investing for. Is it something long term or short term? Based on that invest either a one-time or do a SIP. SIP is best suited if you want to get into the habit of regular saving.
3) KYC is a big problem. As of now, KYC done by banks and KYC done by mutual funds are different. Govt is trying to solve it using CKYC. But it's not yet fully adopted. Then there are issues relating to micropayments, financial awareness etc.