14 Sep 2016 13:10 IST

MobiKwik to enter micro-lending; aims to bring the unbanked on board

Plans tie-ups with multiple NBFCs; eyes GMV of $1b this fiscal year

Mobile-wallet company MobiKwik is eyeing a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $1 billion this fiscal year as it goes about wooing new users, especially unbanked ones. The aim is to achieve a more than a three-fold increase in the $300 million GMV that MobiKwik clocked in 2015-16.

In the case of payment companies, GMV is a metric to denote the value of transactions put through by its users (for purchase of goods and services) through the payment platform.

Reaching the untapped

For the company, the next round of growth will come from the unbanked segment, and efforts are on to devise innovative steps to reach such users, Upasana Taku, co-founder of MobiKwik, told BusinessLine.

“It’s the unbanked who really need electronic wallets, as most banks will not reach them and provide loans easily,” said Taku, adding that “until now, for wallet companies including MobiKwik, most of the growth has come from early adopters who are already bank users.”

MobiKwik intends to adopt a multi-pronged approach to bring “unbanked users” on board, such as tying up with mobile manufacturers so that it can acquire new users who are just adopting smartphones.

Built-in apps

For instance, all Xiaomi smartphones in India come with a built-in MobiKwik application, Taku added.

MobiKwik, which has 32 million users, wants to expand its cash collection points in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities. “We are looking to increase the cash collection points to 5 lakh from 1.2 lakh now,” Taku said.

Micro-lending

MobiKwik, which recently received $40 million investment commitment from Nasdaq-listed Net1, is in talks with several non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to provide short-term credit for purchase of consumable goods.

“We are doing this on a pilot basis. This should go live in two months. We are looking to get into micro-lending to expand our user base. This will also be an upsell as existing users can go in for high-ticket transactions,” she said.

For its lending decisions, MobiKwik, along with its partner NBFCs, is going to be mostly guided by the payment history of its users. “We want to do lot more in the lending space. In India, most people don’t get loans easily,” Taku said.