July 8, 2019

Red Envelope: Lending is Easy, Responsible Lending is Hard

Red Envelope: Lending is Easy, Responsible Lending is Hard

Pioneering efforts of ZestMoney in disrupting the lending market in India

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With Great Power come Great Responsibility. Especially when a business is dealing with a market with 1.3 billion people. The country has made massive strives towards financial inclusion: According to the Global Findex Database, over 80 percent of the adult population now has bank accounts. A series of efforts has helped drive such progress, including Aadhaar, a verifiable 12-digit identification number issued by UIDAI to all residents of India. The Aadhaar identity platform is one of the key pillars of the ‘Digital India,’ and the Aadhaar program is now the largest biometrics based identification system in the world.

In this episode of Rhetoriq's "Red Envelope", a series focused on innovation in Asia, Theodora Lau and Arun Krishnakumar talk to Lizzie Chapman, the CEO of Zestmoney. It is a B2B2C fintech company that extends consumer credit through merchants using a proprietary AI-based machine learning decision engine, leveraging data points from the consumers’ digital footprint. The solution provides dynamic credit limit based on affordability, and it is tailored for households instead of individuals - taking into account the social dynamics and needs of the Indian market. It is this kind of solution which makes Indian fintech stand out.

Along with a progressive government, consumers in India are tech savvy and fast adopters of digital technologies. Mobile penetration is expected to reach 90% by 2020, which will help drive further adoption of fintech tools, increasing the potential to uplift local communities via entrepreneurship and new job opportunities.

There is an untapped market for consumers who don’t have a credit card or other formal financing options. This includes the need for affordable solutions to help consumers “buy now, pay later” and help build long term credit. Zestmoney also educates consumers about their credit score through its platform - so that they can better maintain a long-term financial relationship rather than being penalized for being consistently transactional alone.

Hear from Lizzie on how good the ecosystem in India is for Fintech startups.

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