DMI Finance reimagines lending in India with Salesforce
The Indian lending market has come a long way since the early 2000s. Back then, loan applications were a long-drawn-out, cumbersome, and paper-heavy affair. But today, you can be approved for a loan online in no time at all, even if you’re new to credit. And that’s thanks to digital lenders like DMI Finance.
Founded in 2008, DMI offers innovative credit solutions to individuals and small businesses across India through a digital-only, collaborative approach. The company partners with a range of fintech startups, digital wallet firms, non-banking financial companies, and even consumer electronics giants to make credit accessible to customers.
But being a digital lender comes with its own set of challenges. Customers expect credit decisions in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. They want a seamless lending experience from start to finish. Partners, in turn, expect to be enabled with the resources and insights they need to complete the lending process as efficiently as possible.
Meeting these demands is no small feat even for a large bank with thousands of staff. By contrast, DMI has fewer than 100 employees in its digital lending business. That makes it critical for the company to rely on technology to streamline operations.
“Finding a technology solution to almost all our problems is an imperative,” says Shivashish Chatterjee, Co-founder and Joint Managing Director at DMI. “Our customer outreach programs have to be entirely technology delivered. Our supply chain partners have to be able to talk to us in a seamless, API-driven manner. Only then can we package it all together into an integrated end product.”
That’s where Salesforce comes in.
“Salesforce is like the motherboard of our operations, bringing everything together. The microprocessors and chips that we plug into that motherboard are our partners, our service providers, and our customers,” notes Chatterjee.
Innovating on the Salesforce platform
DMI’s journey with Salesforce began in 2009, when the start-up lender was debating whether to build its loan management technology stack from the ground up, or purchase an off-the-shelf system.
The company quickly realised that there were advantages to building on the Salesforce platform that couldn’t be achieved either with a 100% in-house tool or an off-the-shelf product.
“Salesforce provided a level of industrial strength infrastructure, 100% cloud-based backup and computation, and a highly configurable programming interface that allowed us to maintain full control over proprietary IP while outsourcing the nuts and bolts of database management,” recounts Chatterjee.
DMI implemented Sales Cloud and extensively used Force.com and SOQL to manage the entire process of loan application origination, offer generation, underwriting, and disbursal.
Today, a partner can capture data on a loan or customer, and relay it to DMI using standard Salesforce APIs. The Salesforce platform then interacts with multiple systems to validate each borrower’s identity based on their Aadhaar number, PAN number, photos, and other details. About 30-40 of these API-led verification checks can be performed on the fly.
“Once these KYC checks are complete, the inputs for credit decisioning flow into the Salesforce platform, where a decision engine enables almost real-time credit decisioning,” explains Saurabh Nigam, Chief Technology Officer at DMI.
When the loan is ready to be disbursed, Salesforce creates the payment plans and EMIs. DMI agents also use Salesforce to process loan repayments, and track loan delinquencies.
“Over time, we have made the Salesforce platform work in ways that are fairly novel,” observes Chatterjee. “Salesforce has become our API engine, our core non-banking platform that interfaces with everyone.”
Such automation allows DMI to make a credit decision for 95% of loan applications in less than 60 seconds.
“Salesforce has become our API engine, our core non-banking platform that interfaces with everyone.” - SHIVASHISH CHATTERJEE | CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, DMI FINANCE
Doing more with less: Optimising loan processing
With Salesforce, DMI has also accelerated its loan management processes. Digitalisation allows transactions to be processed at a much higher speed than that of a traditional lender.
For example, a credit officer at a traditional bank would process about 2-3 transactions a day. At DMI, a single Salesforce license is used to process about 300 transactions in the same amount of time.
Every month, the platform handles over one million loan applications with a small dedicated team that is a fraction of the size of a traditional lender which processes similar volumes.
Customer queries or issues are routed to Service Cloud, allowing customer support teams to respond quickly, proficiently, and effectively.
Supercharging the platform for continual growth
To scale up its API infrastructure without slowing down transactions, the company adopted Heroku in 2017.
“With Heroku we’re trying to boost the computing power and processing speed of Salesforce,” says Nigam. “If there are certain processes that don’t require much interaction—for instance, if we’re just trying to compute values for a specific loan—we’re doing that on Heroku.”
The company has also implemented MuleSoft to integrate with 20+ applications for credit decisioning. “Our partners need data on a real-time basis. With middleware like MuleSoft, we can push out the required information faster and easily,” says Nigam.
Some partners have seen enough value in the Salesforce platform to adopt it as their own customer engagement management system.
Evolving digital models
DMI Finance is a true Trailblazer. Not only is the company making credit accessible to millions of Indians who aren’t served by traditional banks, but it is also demonstrating how the Salesforce platform can be used in new and transformative ways.
So, what’s next on DMI’s agenda within the Salesforce world? To optimise the use of Einstein Analytics and make reporting processes more effective, connected, and integrated.
Chatterjee agrees with the prevailing wisdom that in a post COVID-19 world, there will be a greater demand for digital services that don’t require in-person interactions.
“In a post-COVID world, as in many other walks of commerce, digital lenders who can enable the entire journey of credit-from customer onboarding to disbursal-without actually meeting someone face to face are probably going to do better than those who don’t,” predicts Chatterjee.
As DMI gears up for this new world, Salesforce is right by its side. The lender continues to innovate on the Salesforce platform, finding new ways of delivering a seamless experience to both customers and partners.
“Salesforce is a very versatile platform and I am sure that there are companies using it in innovative ways that we haven’t even imagined yet,” says Chatterjee.
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