Interview with Praveen Krishna Dev, Co-founder & CEO of Backspace

Praveen Krishna Dev

An exclusive interview with Praveen Krishna Dev, Co-founder & CEO of Backspace, a Fintech Startup

In the ever-evolving landscape of fintech, innovative minds continue to reshape the way we manage, invest, and interact with our finances. At the forefront of this transformation is Praveen Krishna Dev, the visionary Co-founder and CEO of Backspace, a dynamic fintech startup.

With an unswerving commitment to revolutionizing the financial industry, Praveen brings a wealth of expertise and a relentless drive to empower individuals and businesses alike.

In this exclusive interview, we delve into Praveen’s journey, the inception of Backspace, and the insights driving the company’s mission to enhance financial experiences for all.

Can you share with us the inspiration behind the founding of Backspace? What motivated you to enter the fintech industry with your startup?

Praveen Krishna Dev: Our first venture into entrepreneurship began in 2013 with Greazit, an idea aimed at revolutionizing the automobile service industry. Unfortunately, that idea didn’t work out as we were quite ahead of time and cloud support was in its nascent stages in India.

This prompted us to reassess our strategy and our research led us to right to the unaddressed issue of chargeback management. Subsequently, Vishwanathan, our CTO came up with the idea of Backspace in September 2020 to fill that gap as he had a strong base in BFSI technology development.

This idea put our shoulders to the wheel, through which we examined the potential, consequences, and prospects of our idea. After drawing up the next steps, Backspace was formally launched in March 2022.

Backspace focuses on fintech solutions. Could you elaborate on the specific areas within fintech that your startup is addressing, and how you envision these solutions making a positive impact on the industry?

Praveen Krishna Dev: Simply put, we are a Fintech SaaS company centering on the area of payment disputes and chargeback. Our objective is to automate and streamline the dispute and chargeback mechanism.

Furthermore, presently there is no product for chargeback management focusing on financial institutions globally, even though there are many solutions on the merchant side. So, Backspace is the first fintech to offer a chargeback management product for financial institutions.

Kindly brief us about your company, its specialization, and the product you have built.

Praveen Krishna Dev: Our Comprehensive Fintech SaaS platform, the Unified Dispute Management (UDM), is designed to address every aspect of the chargeback process, catering to stakeholders involved in the payment stream like banks, Payment. Gateways, Neo banks etc.

The fundamental step of the platform remains the same as the dispute process is innately tied to the regulatory bodies like NPCI and RBI. Our UDM is designed with inclusiveness to work within these systems, making it simple to link with any financial stack and automate their dispute resolution processes from day one.

With end-to-end automation, we empower UDM’s users to efficiently manage and respond to disputes, significantly reducing the reliance on manual operations and processing. It also helps the operation team to focus on customer experience and retention.               

Fintech is a rapidly evolving field. How does Backspace differentiate itself from other players in the market, and what unique value do you believe your startup brings to both customers and the financial sector?

Praveen Krishna Dev: Through our research, new technology adoption is often limited by legacy systems and costs involved. And when it comes to disputes, almost 90% of the process is manual. It takes a considerable amount of time, money, and resources to train the operations team to keep them updated as regulations evolve. So, to give a preview, here’s what UDM can do.

  • On the issuer side, UDM collects all incoming disputes and assigns the right reason codes and files the case in card network’s chargeback system automatically based on the information received, thereby reducing the manual effort that is currently required.
  • While on the acquirer side, UDM interacts with the merchant on behalf of the acquirer and gathers the required evidence needed to refute the chargeback. Additionally, it also sends timely notifications to the merchants to submit the representment package within the SLA and TAT for every chargeback raised.
  • UDM can also identify invalid disputes, that helps in saving time, cost and effort involved.
  • UDM uses AI to proactively assign cases to the right analyst based on their strengths.
  • Equipped with AI-led auto decisioning feature, UDM can assess whether a particular dispute should proceed to the next stage i.e pre-arbitration/arbitration based on the documents submitted.

As we sit within the banking system, it becomes easy for the end customer to effortlessly lodge their disputes via phone and internet banking.

In short, in the era of real-time payments, UDM brings in real-time dispute resolution!

Regulation and compliance are critical aspects of the fintech landscape. How does Backspace navigate these challenges while maintaining innovation and user-centric solutions?

Praveen Krishna Dev: UDM is completely Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) compliant as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India. So, any regulations from Level 1 regulators to the customer’s internal compliance requirements, will be incorporated within UDM before go-live along with the updates as and when required.

We take on the regulatory compliance load from our customers, thereby ensuring that they are well poised to offer the best services.

What exciting developments or plans can we expect from Backspace in the next few years? How do you envision your startup’s role in shaping the future of fintech?

Praveen Krishna Dev: In the forthcoming months, our primary aim is to widen our product’s reach by setting our footprint globally and by integrating additional card networks. We are planning to extend our business and tie up with the banks in the Asia pacific region, North America, Europe, Middle East, and the UK.

Currently we are a team of 24 members, however we are looking forward to expanding our workforce to 50-70 members for sustainable growth and development.

What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs who are considering entering the fintech space or launching their own startups in the financial sector?

Praveen Krishna Dev: To start with, I don’t advocate giving advice to people. I would suggest aspiring entrepreneurs to “Follow their heart and being confident in themselves and in their ideas”. Furthermore, my perspective is “Anyone who is willing to start a startup in any industry should discover the potential needs or challenges that are unmet, and they must seek to find a solution for that”.

Though hundreds of hurdles may come in their way they should have strong self-confidence and things will fall into place.

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