realme up ante against Xiaomi with Paysa

New Delhi, December 17 () Smartme maker realme on Tuesday launched a 'realme Than' financial services platform that will offer products such as loans, mutual funds and consumer credit score reports .

The move comes just days after bigger rival Xiaomi launched financial services 'Mi Credit' in India.

Realme is a challenging brand. In a short span of 18 months, we have seen tremendous growth and confidence that our financial services can perform well. Our main goal is to see how entry barriers can be eliminated to give people access to financial solutions, PaySa Lead Varun Sridhar said.

He added that the company expects to reach 25-30 million people in the next three years.

We aim to offer full financial services with full lending, repayment, savings and protection. We expect this business to break down — even in the next 2.5-3 years, realme India CEO Madhav Sheth said.

Chinese major Xiaomi formally launched its lending platform Mi Credit in India earlier this month. The service allows individuals to obtain loans of up to Rs 1 lakh. The company said it plans to introduce more financial products.

Premium smartphone maker OnePlus has also announced the OnePlus Pay mobile payment system, likely to launch in 2020. However, details have not been revealed.

According to research firm IDC, Xiaomi led the smartphone tally in the July-September 2019 quarter with 27.1 percent share of smartphone shipments in India, followed by Samsung (18.9 percent), Vivo (15.2 percent), realme (14.3 percent)) and Oppo (11.8 percent).

The report noted that realme climbed to fourth position in the third quarter as its shipments grew several times, driven by heavy deliveries of the affordable C2 model and newly launched 5 and 3i series .

Realme's online share was at an all-time high of 26.5 per cent in September, up from 16.5 per cent in the previous quarter, IDC added.

Sridhar said Tuesday that the 'realme Than' app is available in both the Google Playstore and realme app stores and is currently in beta test. It will have four business lending, savings, payments and protection Full roll-outs are expected in the next 6-12 months.

The Realme Than beta app will offer digital personal loans of up to Rs 1 lakh and SME loans up to Rs 5 lakh. Larger loan rates for both individuals and SMEs will be provided by groups of Real Than in different cities.

The platform will provide an instant report of free credit and free updates within three months. Additionally, it will offer screen damage insurance for both old and new phones with the option of insuring 1 or 2 damage per year.

By 2020, the platform aims to bring down loans of around Rs 1,000 crores, attract 3-5 million new customers, launch many new products and take the first step in financial services in India, it said Sridhar added that the company is also looking to support UPI in the coming months.

Realme has entered into strategic co-development partnerships with Early Salary (for digital personal loans), Lending Kart (For digital business loans) and Credit Mantri (for free credit report).

We are looking at launching mobile phone financing and payments by 2020, Sheth said.

Sridhar said the company relies most on data privacy and customer security. All of our data is fully localized and the permissions taken are very transparent in the app, he said. SR SHW SHW

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