It Pays to have a Good Credit His­tory at Mo­biK­wik Now

Short-term lend­ing to help co weave in wealth man­age­ment and small in­vest­ments

The Economic Times - - Disruption: - Surabhi.Agar­wal @times­group.com

New Delhi: Dig­i­tal pay­ment firm Mo­biK­wik, which has not yet got the pay­ment bank li­cence from the Cen­tral bank, has started a pi­lot for ex­tend­ing short-term credit to a se­lect group of its ex­ist­ing cus­tomers based on their trans­ac­tion his­tory. This is part of the com­pany’s larger strat­egy to weave in wealth man­age­ment and small in­vest­ments along with en­abling pay­ments through its wal­let. Mo­biK­wik com­petes with the likes of Paytm in this space which has al­ready got a li­cence for a bank and plans to launch it by Au­gust this year. Ac­cord­ing to Upasana Taku, co­founder of Mo­biK­wik, the mo­bile wal­let firm has drawn up a list of its power users who are of­fered a line of credit which can be re­paid within 15 days. The com­pany has tied up with Non Bank­ing Fi­nance Com­pany (NBFC) Fuller­ton for it and charges an in­ter­est fee of 5% on the loaned amount. Taku told ET that the com­pany is work­ing on ways to en­able short­term sav­ings for cus­tomers and sim­pli­fy­ing wealth man­age­ment for them by re­duc­ing the pa­per­work and do­ing away with the fi­nan­cial jar­gon. On cards are fixed de­posits and Sys­tem­atic In­vest­ment Plans (SIPs) for mu­tual funds. Mo­biK­wik is cur­rently in talks with mul­ti­ple banks to part­ner for th­ese of­fer­ings. “Even with­out the pay­ment bank li­cence, we can do every­thing that a bank will be able to un­der the norms,” said Taku. The only thing which Mo­biK­wik will not be able to do is use the word “bank” she added.

In Au­gust, the RBI gave ‘in prin­ci­ple’ ap­proval to 11 en­ti­ties to run pay­ment banks, in­clud­ing Relian- ce In­dus­tries, Air­tel M Com­merce Ser­vices, Voda­fone m-pesa, Tech Mahin­dra and Idea Cel­lu­lar’s pro­moter Aditya Birla Nuvo. Oth­ers ap­pli­cants that won ap­proval in­clude Fino PayTech, De­part­ment of Posts, Na­tional Se­cu­ri­ties De­pos­i­tory, Sun Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals MD Dilip Shan­ti­lal Shanghvi, and Cho­la­man­dalam Dis­tri­bu­tion Ser­vices. The en­ti­ties, which have 18 months to start oper­a­tions, are in var­i­ous stages of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

Mo­biK­wik’s ri­val Paytm also has sim­i­lar plans af­ter it rolls out its Bank oper­a­tions. In an in­ter­view in Fe­bru­ary, Vi­jay Shekhar Sharma, co­founder of Paytm, told ET the Bank will be fo­cused on driv­ing small sav­ings for its ex­ist­ing ur­ban and semi-ur­ban con­sumers. The com­pany is look­ing at us­ing tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate in­stru­ments that will help peo­ple earn in­ter­est on even .₹ 500 kept in their bank ac­counts. Ac­cord­ing to Sharma, the bank will fo­cus on sav­ings and pay­ments ini­tially and then ex­pand to wealth man­age­ment.

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