By Nishant Arora
New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) From Kapil Dev-Ranveer Singh role reversal ad to Neeraj Chopra mania to welcome back the Indian premier League (IPL), the credit card bill payment platform CRED needs no introduction in the ever-growing Indian startup ecosystem. For its founder Kunal Shah, India now needs to create a conducive ecosystem for its smartest people to stay back and build — for the country as well as for the world.
Pandemic-accelerated digitisation has pushed businesses — both digital and traditional — to build better for their customers.
“The digital era is now real and consumers, brands, and institutions will need to embrace technology to survive. The future belongs to companies that understand this shift, and are able to earn the trust of all their stakeholders – team members, investors, customers, and partners,” Shah told IANS in an interaction.
The scope and scale of sustaining the entrepreneurship ecosystem in India will be determined by a few factors.
“First, we need to create a conducive ecosystem for our smartest to stay back in India, building in India — for India and the world. Next, we need to ensure that invention is ingrained in our culture. The most successful startups in the next decade will focus on solving local problems and creating solutions for India,” Shah elaborated.
This requires the country to focus more on creation, accept rather than mock new thinking, and provide entrepreneurs the infrastructure to quickly prototype new products.
“It’s interesting to see this beginning to find acceptance at primary education level and, hopefully, this trend will grow,” Shah noted.
Founded in 2018 in Bengaluru, the members-only credit card management and bill payments platform has built a platform of over 8.5 million creditworthy members, each of whom has a credit score over 750.
“We facilitate over 25 per cent of credit card bill payments in India each month, are among the top 4 in UPI value share, and over a third of premium card-holders in India are on CRED,” informed Shah.
CRED’s Commerce offering which includes CRED Store, Rewards, and CRED Pay has emerged as a meaningful channel for young, independent consumer brands to be discovered by and engage with potential customers on CRED and their own platforms.
Over 2,000 brands have participated in CRED Commerce and these brands are positioned alongside aspirational global brands and can build traction with taste-making consumers.
“Financial offerings we’ve launched in partnership with regulated partners include CRED Cash — an instant, three-step personal credit line; CRED Max – which allows members to pay monthly rent or education EMIs on their credit card for a small transaction fee, and CRED Mint — an easy-to-use, low-risk investment product that lets members put idle money to work,” Shah informed.
CRED is growing at a time when Indians’ credit card spends in September jumped 57 per cent (on-year) to Rs 80,000 crore, according to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The banking system reported around 1.1 million new credit card additions in September, taking the number of outstanding credit cards to 65 million.
In October, 7 lakh CRED members avoided extra interest charges by acting on alerts and paying their bills in full and Rs 77 crore worth of late payments fees were avoided with the help of timely reminders from CRED.
Nearly Rs 233 crore worth of hidden charges were detected by members using CRED Protect while Rs 22 crore worth of cashbacks were won for taking the right decisions.
CRED currently facilitates 25 per cent of credit card bill payments in India.
Shah said that while the company’s focus continues to be building distribution for the platform, “we are now actively working towards offering this platform to brands and financial institutions to craft and offer a variety of services for members”.
“Our approach is to start with small experiments that we iterate and double down on, when we see member traction,” he added.
(Nishant Arora can be reached at email@example.com)