Developer Community for OCEN
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Over the course of four weeks in July and August 2020, iSPIRT conducted a series of Open House Discussions to introduce and familiarise India’s fintech ecosystem with the new Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN).
OCEN is a new paradigm for credit that seeks to provide a ‘common language for lenders and marketplaces to build innovative, financial credit products at scale’.
Announced recently, it is a reimagination of the credit ecosystem, where any service provider that has an interface with users (individual or MSME) can now effectively ‘plug in’ lending capabilities into their current operations through the use of a standard set of APIs, thus taking on a new role as Loan Service Providers (LSPs).
The idea behind OCEN is to standardise the various components of a typical lending value chain so that any marketplace, app or platform that already aggregates users can make use of these APIs to cater to the credit demands of their customers. This eliminates the need to expend time and energy on setting up individual integrations with potential lending partners.
OCEN is trying to solve for one of India’s most devastating roadblocks to financial inclusion i.e. access to formal credit for the individuals and businesses that need it most. The unit economics and archaic models of our existing lending setup have led to an MSME credit gap of $330 bn with only 11% of our small businesses being able to access credit from traditional lenders.
By tapping into the existing customer pools of LSPs and working in tandem with other components of our public digital infrastructure (UPI, Account Aggregators, e-KYC etc), lenders can nullify the costs of discovering and servicing new customers, while also leveraging alternate data to offer more personalised, innovative credit products. OCEN will help to facilitate a methodical shift from balance sheet-based lending to cash-flow based lending that will help to bring more borrowers under the canopy of our formal credit system.
There are numerous ways for participants to contribute across this new OCEN-enabled lending value chain, and indeed it will take the combined efforts of lenders, LSPs, TSPs PSPs, and everyone in between for OCEN to achieve its lofty ambitions.
OCEN Developer Community
Based on the interactions with the ecosystem over the past two months, iSpirt would like to formally announce the creation of the OCEN Tech Community, whose role is to help build and share knowledge required to make OCEN a success for all participants.
The goal of this community would be to:
- Help reduce the implementation cycles and turnaround times for OCEN APIs
- Transfer learnings and best practices from those who are creating and maintaining the OCEN API specs to all the entities keen to implement and experiment with OCEN (LSPs, FIs, AAs etc)
- Seek feedback from the developer ecosystem about what changes and/or improvements to make for future releases
- Onboard enthusiasts and ‘super users’ to play a more hands on role in overall API creation and implementation
If you’re interested in contributing to this group and being part of the discussion, please log in to http://ocen.discussion.ispirt.in/. For any other questions on becoming an LSP, TSP or Lender, drop us an email at email@example.com.
In case you are curious about other ongoing initiatives outside of OCEN, there are also communities for the National Health Stack (HealthStack.discussion.ispirt.in) and the Account Aggregator framework (discourse.sahamati.org.in) that you are also welcome to join.
We know that an engaged tech community is key to ensuring that this initiative is conceptualised and executed properly. We welcome the participation of our talented developer ecosystem and are looking forward to working alongside you.
A further deep-dive into OCEN has been captured in this piece by Aaryaman Vir and Rahul Sanghi - https://tigerfeathers.substack.com/p/ocen-a-conversation