Tough times don’t knock on your door three times to let you know they are here. However, if you are well-prepared for the storms, your boat will sail through.

As I swatted the flies from ripe bananas, I sensed that the storm was finally here: not as a tornado that uproots buildings in a literal sense but as a plague that had the potential to uproot my life.

As the months passed, the disease spread, the number of customers who came to the market to buy my fruits plummeted. The market was crashing and there were no buyers. One or two men would come and buy the essentials. The juice within the orange was now dry and the mangoes lay a rotten waste. The tin box I kept under the brown rag was almost empty now. A few coins lay there in complete waste, just like the market. One day, my son walked to me and said, “Where did this crisis come from, baba? It has left us penniless. We don’t have anything new and even when this is over, the rest of the world will continue as it is but we will not. We can not.”

I smiled at him.

“Don’t worry, dear son. We will not be harmed. Your baba is not that behind times”.

I pulled out my phone, a battered blue case with cracks on the screen. It was on the inside that mattered. “I have taken a loan for us and for the fruit business. We will not be penniless.”

My son looked at the phone in awe and then smiled.

Loans used to be a thing beyond our reach. Through technology and brilliant minds at work, digital loans have become easy. I did not even need to approach the bank, stand through long queues with the pace of a slug, and be buried with tons of paperwork. Since the digital platform has become the norm, everything from online loan application to payment has been made easier.

My business might not be huge but my life revolves around it. When disasters now come to my threshold, I am prepared to battle them. Through the online platform, I have been able to learn about the financial systems easily. Before this, the prospect of trying to enter the financial world was scary but now, through the technological advancement in finance, the lives of people like me have changed for the better. From digital wallets to consumer loans, Fintech has a solution for every need.

The fintech industry has impacted every life but more so, the lives of those who used to suffer every day with the traditional methods of banking and were often excluded from the systems.

Now, we feel safe. We feel as if someone has our back. My small business is not earning a lot due to the pandemic and there are corporate giants who are still able to sustain themselves. In such a scenario, people like me would surely lose hope but digital financial services help us. Since the world is locked down, we cannot roam about to carry our transactions. Fintech has helped us a lot.

Now the sky is brighter and the crowd is thin. I can’t tell when the town would return back to normalcy. The ambiguity of the future scares us but if you have a plan, it becomes less intimidating. That’s what Fintech has helped me learn: to prepare.

When my son smiles at me now, I know he feels safe. He knows his baba now walks with the world and can save our family from economic ruin. I drop the rotten fruits in a pit to make compost. It is one of the steps beside my participation in digital finance that I take to ensure a better tomorrow. Crises come announced. We must always be prepared for it.

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