The Chinese smartphone biggest players such as Xiaomi, Realme, and Oppo are now eyeing the financial services market in India. Xiaomi along with Realme has launched its financial services apps Mi Credit and another one that is Realme PaySa, correspondingly, in the month of December last year. In the meantime, Oppo has also recently introduced Oppo Kash in the market.
According to the RBI, from July 2018 to July 2019, there were just 50 million credit cards in India that were operational. Taking the huge population of the country under consideration, many experts’ say that there is a huge opportunity that one can get in the financial services market, particularly personal loans. Assisted by their wide reach, smartphone companies, in fact, might certainly have an edge.
Monish Shah, partner, Deloitte India, recently stated on this topic, “Mobile financial services have great potential in India.” Moreover creating a new revenue stream, it also develops “stickiness among its core product customers.”
Xiaomi is already enjoying great success with Mi Credit in China, and now the company is beta-testing the app in India. This app will not only offer you credit cards but will also offer personal loans up to two lakh.
Vikram Singh, who is the lead-financial services, Xiaomi India, said, “We have sold a lot of devices as well as gathered a huge user base,” he added that they do not make much revenue on the hardware and at that is the time “where our internet services come in,”
Xiaomi’s internet services consist of Mi Videos, Mi Music as well as its financial services apps.
In order to offer the financial services on its platform, Xiaomi has also partnered with many other financial service providers in India, such as Aditya Birla Finance, Credit Vidya and Zest Money. The company also claims to have expended personal loans worth Rs 125 crore with the help of its lending partners and approx. 1.5 million people have also accessed the credit reports so far using the app.
In the meantime, Realme is offering business along with personal loans, mutual funds as well as insurance, while focusing on small towns. The company states that it has issued 53,000 free credit reports, and has also generated leads for 10,000 personal as well as 7,000 business loans.
Varun Sridhar, lead, Realme PaySa, says, “We are working on a project with ICICI Lombard in which we are going to modify health insurance premiums after tracking users’ day-to-day routine and habits like what time they sleep, wake up, etc,”
Oppo Kash is now planning to get into the UPI along with PPI payments space; Realme PaySa may possibly present a UPI payments feature soon, while Xiaomi on the other hand, already has a separate UPI-powered payments app called Mi Pay.
These smartphone companies will have to tread carefully, as the study of data to offer loans as well as insurance may possibly be seen as a violation of privacy by users. Navkendar Singh, research director, IDC India, says, “They will have to make sure that users don’t see them as intruders.”