Most financial companies did not have a customer-oriented approach
Back when I was a venture capitalist with Prime Ventures, India was undergoing a massive digital transition. Start-ups were creating apps for online shopping, ride hailing, and food delivery. However, too few banks/NBFCs were working on products addressing the consumers’ need for credit. I wondered then if this might be an interesting area to explore.
So I began talking to middle-income consumers, surveying employees of small companies, people in the mall, etc. to understand their consumption habits when it comes to credit. After interacting with several people, I found the most important thing for them was being able to avail of credit without hassle and humiliation. They wanted credit flexibly. Whatever the amount, whatever the tenure, they wanted to borrow conveniently, and of course all done on their mobile.
Soon after, I was at a bank, talking to one of the senior employees there. I saw long queues of people waiting for a loan, and asked the bank employee, “Why do you take so long for disbursals?" To this, the employee replied, “Where are these people going to go? I’m the one with money, they want the money. They’ll wait."
What I saw was that most financial companies simply did not have a customer-oriented approach. That’s when I had my first click moment. We needed to bring convenient, flexible, and fast credit to the masses by introducing technology into the process.
When MoneyTap was still in the beta stage, we were meeting employees across companies and pitching the product to them. Surprisingly enough, there was little interest from employees at the time. But a couple of them came to us later for details. I realized they were hesitant to discuss the product in front of their colleagues due to the stigma attached to taking credit. It’s a private matter, and that, I believe, was the next big click moment for us. The decision to go app-first and provide consumers a digitally and privately accessible line of credit was the value addition that subsequently helped MoneyTap stand out in the market.