Indian fintech firms push digital EMIs to new offline frontiers

India Gate. Photo: Abhidev Vaishnav/unsplash

Fintech firms are piloting instant loan products and expanding the scope of their digital equated monthly instalment (EMI) products at offline stores, as demand for credit continues.

Digital EMI, or ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ credit products, were largely offered offline at white-good and electronic stores. This model, pioneered by companies such as Bajaj Finserv Ltd, is now seeing traction in newer segments such as auto dealers, fashion retail stores, restaurants and small-town traders, with banks more comfortable with small loans.

Banks deployed debit card-based EMIs as metro customers went to their hometowns. Smaller cities are also warming up to these credit offerings. Retail brands have also joined banks and are willing to offer customers credit for purchases, absorbing the interest rates on zero-cost EMIs.

Buy Now Pay Later-based purchases were up by 30% this October compared to the same period last year, for Pine Labs, which is said to have a lion’s share among fintechs in the offline EMI market. Cities that are in Tier 2 and beyond account for 54% of the overall transaction value of EMI products on its platform.

Pine Labs has, over the past year, also launched products such as Instant EMI for smaller ticket sizes, which allow users to scan the company’s QR code at merchant locations and avail instant credit for basket sizes above 5,000. It has already enabled 50,000 merchant touch points with its Instant EMI product and has provided EMI solutions across 150,000 merchants in the country.

Pine Labs’ competitor Mswipe joined the rush and launched its digital EMI platform in October after piloting it for nearly two years. Mswipe’s EMI platform takes a brand-centric marketplace approach and allows brands to push offers at its offline merchant network and provide customers zero-cost EMIs, to push inventory faster at offline retail points.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.