Walmart launches two new credit cards offering 5% back on digital purchases

Walmart is partnering with Capital One to launch a new credit card program, which rolls on September 24, and includes both co-branded and private-label cards. The former, the Capital One Walmart Mastercard, includes 5% back on purchases made on Walmart.com or paid for in-store using Walmart Pay (the latter for the first 12 months.) The private label card, the Walmart Rewards Card, will offer those same perks, but is limited to being used only in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com.

After the 12-month introductory period, the co-branded Mastercard will drop to 2% on Walmart purchases in stores, instead of 5%. However, it will continue to offer 5% on Walmart.com purchases, including Walmart Grocery.

It also offers 2% back on restaurants and travel and 1% back everywhere else. The card doesn’t include any annual fee or foreign transaction feeds, and its rewards can be used any time, Walmart says.

Customers can apply for the new card via Walmart’s website or app, or through CapitalOne.com. The application itself can be filled out using a mobile device and, once approved, customers gain access to the card immediately. They can also load the card into Walmart Pay or into the Walmart app before the physical card arrives in the mail — similar to how Apple’s new Apple Card works.

Through Capital One, customers will receive purchase notifications, security alerts, 0% fraud liability, and the ability to lock/unlock a lost or stolen card from the Capital One app.

The new Walmart store card, meanwhile, also offers 5% back on purchases on Walmart.com, in Walmart app, and on Walmart Pay in-store purchases during the introductory period. It then offers 2% back on Walmart purchases afterward. It also earns 2% back at Walmart Fuel Stations.

Current Walmart cardholders will be converted to the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard or the Walmart Rewards Card, starting October 11, with physical cards arriving in November. They’ll also earn 5% back through Walmart Pay through October 14, 2020.

Walmart’s prior card, from Synchrony Bank, offered smaller rewards, noted Sara Rathner, credit cards expert at NerdWallet, in a statement published this morning.

“The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is definitely helping to cement 5% back as the gold standard among retail cards. We already see this rewards rate with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card and the Target REDcard. The previous Walmart card issued by Synchrony Bank only offered 3% back on Walmart.com and a paltry 1% back in-store, so the new card is a huge step up,” she said.

Credit card partnerships are an area of importance to major retailers, including Walmart’s chief rival, Amazon. Its credit card program includes a variety of options, including store cards, travel cards, prepaid cards, no annual fee cards, reward points cards and more. And of course both retailers today are, to some extent, challenged by Apple, which just entered the credit card space, too.

Branded store cards not only help to increase customer loyalty, they also drive more purchases, reduce credit card processing fees, create additional profit in the form of interest, and generate records of customer purchases that can be used for targeted advertising.

“As our company has evolved to serve customers shopping in stores, online, and on the Walmart apps, we also recognized the need to fully digitally enable the cardholder experience,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president, Walmart services and digital acceleration, in a statement. “That’s why we’ve worked with Capital One to make it possible for cardholders to manage essentially every interaction with the program right from the palm of their hands,” he said.

 

$100M Grant for the Web fund aims to jump-start a new way to pay online

Getting paid for providing content online isn’t simple, and as the ad-based economy continues to collapse pretty much everyone is looking for alternatives. One problem: While the web is great at moving images and audio and files around, it has a real problem with money. Coil, Mozilla, and Creative Commons hope to change that with a native web payments standard and $100M to get it off the ground.

“Web monetization” is the name of the game here, not just generally but also the specific new web protocol being proposed. It’s meant to be an open, interoperable standard that will let anyone send money to anyone else on the web.

That doesn’t mean it sprang fully formed out of nowhere, though. It’s based on a protocol called Interledger pursued by former Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas in his new company Coil.

“We were basically applying the concept of internet protocol to payments — routing little packets of money,” Thomas told TechCrunch, though he was quick to add that it’s not blockchain-powered. Those systems, he said, are useful in their place, but end up bogged down in upkeep and administration. And services like Flattr are great, he said, but limited by the fact that they’re essentially run by a single company.

Interledger, he explained, is a protocol for securely and universally connecting existing payment systems in a totally agnostic way. “It supports any underlying payment structure, bitcoin or a bank ledger or whatever, and any connection you use, satellite or wi-fi, it doesn’t care. We were working on on it for a long time, since like 2015, and last year were like, well, how do we get this out into the real world?”

The answer was a new company, for one thing, but also partnering with open web advocates at Mozilla and Creative Commons on Grant for the Web, a $100M fund to disburse with their input. Both have a seat at the table in selecting grant recipients, and the latter is a recipient itself.

“This is an opportunity for CC to experiment with optional micropayments in CC Search,” said Creative Commons interim CEO Cable Green. “If users want to provide micropayments to authors of openly licensed images, to show gratitude, we’re interested in exploring these options with our global community.”

“An open source micropayment protocol and ecosystem could be good for creators and users,” he continued. “Building a web that doesn’t rely on data acquisition and advertising is a good thing.”

The $100M fund is all Coil money, which makes sense as Coil was founded to promote and develop the Interledger and Web Monetization protocols. Huge funding pushes don’t seem like the ordinary way to establish new web standards, but Thomas explained that payments are a unique case.

“The underlying business model for the web is kind of broken,” he said. And that’s partly by design: Enormous companies with vested interests in existing payment and monetization structures are always working to maintain the status quo or shift it in a favorable direction — companies like Google that rely on advertising, or Visa and others that power traditional payment methods.

“From our perspective, what the standard is ultimately competing with is proprietary platforms with billions in funding,” Thomas said.

The $100M fund will be spread out over five years or so, and will be awarded both to companies and people that use or plan to use the Web Monetization standard in an interesting way, and to content creators who are poorly served by existing monetization methods.

Long tail content that’s nevertheless important, like investigative journalism or documentaries from and by marginalized communities, is one of the targets for the fund. Grants could come in the form of direct funding, or matching subscribers’ contributions. There’s no quid pro quo, Thomas said, except for a hard minimum of half the content being released under an open license like Creative Commons — which that organization is likely excited about.

Right now a subscription-based browser extension that allows easy payments to sites that have implemented the standard is the only way to get in the door. Admittedly that’s not a very sexy onboarding experience. But part of the fund is intended to juice the development and adoption of the standard much more widely.

It’s a way — though an expensive one, sure — to show that an alternative model exists to the traditional ad-based or subscription-based methods of supporting content.

You can sign up now to be notified when they start accepting grant applications at grantfortheweb.org.

India’s OkCredit raises $67M to help small merchants digitize their bookkeeping

OKCredit, a Bangalore-based startup that enables small merchants to turn their bookkeeping digital, has raised $67 million to expand its business in the nation.

The Series B financing round for the two-year-old startup was led by Lightspeed and Tiger Global. The new round, which follows Series A financing round in June this year, climbs OkCredit’s total raise to $87 million.

OkCredit operates an eponymous mobile app that allows merchants to keep track of their day-to-day purchases and sales. Last month, startup founders told TechCrunch that the app had amassed over 5 million active merchants across 2,000 cities in India.

More to follow…

Nigerian online-only bank startup Kuda raises $1.6M

Nigerian fintech startup Kuda — a digital-only retail bank — has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding.

The Lagos and London-based company recently launched the beta version of its online mobile finance platform. Kuda also received its banking license from the Nigerian Central Bank, giving it a distinction compared to other fintech startups.

“Kuda is the first digital-only bank in Nigeria with a standalone license. We’re not a mobile wallet or simply a mobile app piggybacking on an existing bank,” Kuda bank founder Babs Ogundeyi told TechCrunch.

“We have built our own full-stack banking software from scratch. We can also take deposits and connect directly to the switch,” Ogundeyi added, referring to the Nigeria’s Central Switch — a SWIFT-like system that facilitates bank communication and settlements.

A representative for the Central Bank of Nigeria (speaking on background) confirmed Kuda’s banking license and status, telling TechCrunch, “As far as I’m aware there is no other digital bank [in Nigeria] that has a micro-finance license.”

 

Kuda Transaction Screen Card

Kuda offers checking accounts with no monthly-fees, a free debit card, and plans to offer consumer savings and P2P payments options on its platform in coming months.

“You can open a bank account within five minutes, do all the KYC in the app, and you get issued a new bank account number,” according to Ogundeyi. Kuda bank Founder CEO Babs OgundeyiOgundeyi — a repeat founder who exited classifieds site Motortradertrader.ng and worked in a finance advisory role to the Nigerian government — co-founded Kuda in 2018 with former Stanbic Bank software developer Musty Mustapha.

The two convinced investor Haresh Aswani to lead the $1.6 million pre-seed funding, along with Ragnar Meitern and other angel investors. Aswani confirmed his investment to TechCrunch and that he will take a position on Kuda’s board.

Kuda plans to use its seed funds to go from beta to live launch in Nigeria by fourth-quarter 2019. The startup will also build out the tech of its banking platform, including support for its developer team located in Lagos and Cape Town, according to Ogundeyi.

Kuda also intends to expand in the near future. “It’s Nigeria for right now, but the plan is build a Pan-African digital-only bank,” he said.

As of 2014, Nigeria has held the dual distinction as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country (with 190 million people).

To scale there, and add some physical infrastructure to its online model, Kuda has correspondent relationships with three of Nigeria’s largest financial institutions: GTBank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank.

He clarified the banks are partners and not investors. Kuda customers can use these banks’ branches and ATMs to put money into bank accounts or withdraw funds without a fee.

“Even though we don’t own a single branch, we actually have the largest branch network in the country,” Ogundeyi claimed.

Kuda’s plans to generate revenues focus largely around leveraging its bank balances. “We plan to match different liability classes to the different asset classes that we create. That’s how we make money, that’s how we get efficiency in terms of income,” Ogundeyi said.

In Nigeria, Kuda enters a potentially revenue-rich market, but its one that already hosts a crowded fintech field — as the country becomes ground zero for payments startups and tech investment in Africa.

Briter Bridges Lagos Nigeria Fintech MapIn both raw and per capita numbers, Nigeria has been slower to convert to digital payments than leading African countries, such as Kenya, according to joint McKinsey Company and Gates Foundation analysis done several years ago. The same study estimated there could be nearly $1.3 billion in revenue up for grabs if Nigeria could reach the same digital-payments penetration as Kenya.

A number of startups — established and new — are going after that prize in the West African country — several with a strategy to scale in Nigeria first before expanding outward on the continent and globally.

San Francisco-based, no-fee payment venture Chipper Cash entered Nigeria this month.

Series B-stage Nigerian payments company Paga raised $10 million in 2018 to further grow its customer base (that now tallies 13 million) and expand to Asia and Latin America.

Kuda CEO Babs Ogundeyi believes the startup can scale and compete in Nigeria on a number of factors, one being financial safety. He names the company’s official bank status and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation security that brings as something that can attract cash-comfortable bank clients to digital finance.

Ogundeyi also points to offerings and price.”We look to be the next generation bank where you can do everything— savings, payments and transfers — and also the one that’s least expensive,” he said.

 

Paytm’s annual loss doubles to $549M

Running a payments business in India is not cheap. Just ask Paytm . One of India’s largest payment companies reported a net loss of Rs 3959 crore ($549 million) for the financial year that ended in March, up 165% over 1490 crore ($206 million) in the same period last year.

During the same period, the company’s revenue rose to Rs 3232 crore ($448 million), compared to Rs 3052 crore ($423 million) in the year before. The firm’s debt also surged to Rs 695 crore ($96 million), One97 Communications, the parent firm of Paytm, told investors in its annual report.

One97 Communications also runs an e-commerce business, which recently raised money from eBay, and Paytm Money, that runs mutual funds business. On a consolidated basis, the 9-year-old firm reported an annual loss of Rs 4217.20 crore ($584 million), up from Rs 1604.34 crore ($222 million) from the year before.

Indian news outlet BloombergQuint first reported (paywalled) the financial performance of Paytm.

The loss should worry Paytm, whose CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in a conference last week that the firm would begin to work on going public in the next 22 to 24 months. The level of competition that Paytm faces today is only about to increase in the coming future, and unlike earlier, the Indian firm is not facing off financially weaker local rivals.

Paytm, which has raised over $2 billion to date from a range of investors including SoftBank, Alibaba, and Berkshire Hathaway, continues to be the largest mobile wallet app provider in India, but increasingly users are moving to government-backed UPI payments infrastructure. In UPI land, Paytm competes with Flipkart’s PhonePe and Google Pay, both of which are heavily-backed.

As of July, both PhonePe and Google Pay commanded a bigger market share across UPI apps than Paytm.

Also in UPI land, you don’t make money on each transaction. So lately, every payments firm in India, including Paytm, has expanded it offering to include financial services such as a credit card, or loan, or insurance.

In many ways, this has created a level playing field for payment firms that did not dominate the wallet business.

In a statement, Paytm said it has been investing $1 billion per year for the last two years to “expand payments ecosystem in our country.” The company plans to invest a further $3 billion in the next two years.

“We believe India is at the inflection point of digital payments and Paytm’s sole focus is towards solving the merchant payments and offering them financial services. We will invest Rs 20,000 crore ($2.7 billion) in the next two years towards achieving this,” a company spokesperson said.

The biggest challenge for Paytm and other UPI payment apps has yet to emerge. Before the end of this year, WhatsApp, which has over 400 million users in India, plans to offer UPI payment option to all its years in the coming month.

Annual Extra Crunch members get 100,000 Brex Rewards points upon credit card signup

We’re excited to announce an addition to the Extra Crunch community perks. Starting today, annual Extra Crunch members can get 100,000 Brex Rewards points after signing up for a Brex corporate credit card. This offer is worth about $1,000 in credit card points.

Brex’s corporate credit card is designed for startups, and Extra Crunch was built for the startup ecosystem. We understand that startups are trying to be as frugal as possible with spending, and we felt that the Brex corporate credit card was the perfect way to stretch those valuable dollars.

Brex gives startup founders and finance teams higher credit limits than what they would get with any other business credit card option, and it does so without requiring a personal credit check or security deposit during the application. There are some impressive reward multipliers across categories like rideshare, travel, and restaurants. It also comes with $50,000 worth of partner offers from AWS, Salesforce and many more.

Full benefits with the Brex for Startups credit card include:

  • 100,000 Brex Rewards points upon signup (equal to about $1,000)
  • 7x points on ridesharing app charges
  • 4x points on travel charges, including Airbnb
  • Miles transfer program to six airlines (including Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Air France and more) and their loyalty programs
  • 3x points on restaurant charges
  • 2x points on recurring software charges like Salesforce, Slack and GitHub
  • 1x points on all other charges
  • Discounts on the top services for startups, including Zendesk, Google Ads, SendGrid, AWS, WeWork and more
  • Automated receipt-capture and expense matching with the Brex mobile app, or via text and email
  • Built-in integrations with QuickBooks and Xero
  • And more

In order to qualify for the Brex credit card, companies need at least $100,000 in the bank and must meet Brex’s other qualification requirements. This offer is only available to annual Extra Crunch members in the United States. You can sign up for annual Extra Crunch membership here.

Extra Crunch membership offers exclusive access to analysis of successful startups, original research and reporting, resources on company building, lists of verified experts in key services, no banner ads on TechCrunch.com, conference calls with our writers and more. You can take a look at the types of articles we produce for Extra Crunch by heading here.

After signing up for an annual Extra Crunch membership, you’ll receive a welcome email with a link to the Brex offer. If you are already an annual Extra Crunch member, you will receive an email with the offer at some point today. If you are currently a monthly Extra Crunch subscriber and want to upgrade to annual in order to claim this deal, head over to the “my account” section on TechCrunch.com and click the “upgrade” button.

Once you receive the link, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for the credit card. As a reminder, companies must have at least $100K in the bank to qualify, be based in the U.S., and meet Brex’s other qualification requirements. 

This is one of several new community perks we’ve been working on for Extra Crunch members. In addition to the Brex offer, Extra Crunch members also get 20% off all TechCrunch event tickets (email [email protected] with the event name to receive a discount code for event tickets). You can learn more about our events lineup here.

Expect to see more perks and deals like this in the near future. If there are other community perks you want to see us add, please let us know by emailing [email protected].

Sign up for an annual Extra Crunch membership today to claim this community perk. You can purchase an annual Extra Crunch membership here.

8-month-old startup FPL Technologies raises $4.5M to improve credit card experience in India

An eight-month-old startup in India that wants to improve the user experience of credit card holders in the nation has received the backing of at least two major investors.

Pune-based FPL Technologies said Thursday it has raised $4.5 million in its maiden financing round from Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, and others.

In an interview with TechCrunch earlier this week, Anurag Sinha, co-founder and CEO of FPL Technologies, said the startup aims to build a full stack solution to reimagine how people in India get their first credit card and engage with it.

Even as hundreds of millions of people in India today are securing loans from organized financial lenders, most of them are unable to get a credit card. Fewer than 25 million people in the country today have a credit card, according to industry estimates. And even those who have a credit card are not exactly pleased with the experience.

fpl team

Vibhav, Anurag, Rupesh, co-founders of FPL Technologies, pose for a picture

Much of the blame goes to banks and other credit card issuing firms that are largely relying on archaic technology to operate their plastic card business.

Sinha, an industry veteran, said through his startup, he aims to address a wide range of pain points of credit card holders such as in-person meeting or telephonic interaction with bank representatives for getting a credit card, or having to talk to someone to get basic support, and not being able to mask the card’s identity when shopping online.

The startup, which employs about 20 people currently, aims to build the mobile credit card service in the next couple of months, but in the meantime, it is offering an app called OneScore to help users check their credit score and learn how to improve it. Sinha said OneScore, unlike most of its rivals, doesn’t sell the data of customers to third-party agencies.

The app was launched two months ago and has already amassed over 100,000 users, Sinha said. These users would get the first dibs on the startup’s mobile credit card, he said.

In a statement, Shailesh Lakhani, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India, said, “When they presented a plan to modernize credit cards in India it immediately resonated with the Sequoia India team. It’s a delight to partner with them as they work on developing more flexible, affordable and easier to use financial products for Indian consumers.”

In recent months, a handful of startups in India have started to explore ways to expand the reach of credit cards in the nation and incentivize users to become more responsible with how they engage with it. Bangalore-based SlicePay offers a credit card to students in India. CRED, a startup by industry veteran Kunal Shah, recently raised $120 million to motivate users to improve their financial behavior.

Bunq simplifies group payment tracking and adds analytics

European challenger bank Bunq is announcing a handful of updates today. You now get a better overview of your account with more insights on how you spend money. If you’re going on vacation with someone else, you can now choose to automatically add transactions to a Slice Group. There are also improvements to VAT management for business users.

Slice Groups are shared accounts for owners of the Bunq Travel Card. You can create a group with multiple Bunq users and then add expenses to the group. You can’t add money to a Slice Group directly. It is essentially a group accounting feature that lets you keep track of who paid for what, who has a positive balance and who has a negative balance.

While you could easily add Bunq transactions to a group, you still had to manually add them every time there are some new transactions. You can now turn on AutoSlice, a feature that lets you temporarily add all card transactions to a Slice Group.

In other news, Bunq wants to give you more information about your spending habits. It starts with a new feature called Bunq Insights. As the name suggests, your payments are now automatically categorized so that you can see a breakdown of what you do with your money.

When you travel, Bunq now gives you information about your travel destination, such as the exchange rate as well as tips and tricks for that country. Bunq users can add recommendations for other Bunq users.

And if you’re always wondering if you’re spending too much money after getting paid, Bunq now tries to predict how much money you’ll have left at the end of the month. The company analyzes your past transactions to predict how much you’re going to spend over the coming weeks.

Finally, Bunq is updating AutoVAT for business users who have to deal with VAT in Europe. In addition to setting aside VAT you’ll have to pay back, the app now counts how much VAT you’ve paid so far so that you know how much you can reclaim. By combining these two figures, you get the exact VAT amount for your taxes.

India’s mobile payments firm MobiKwik reaches rare key profit milestone

Indian mobile payments firm MobiKwik has reached a milestone very few of its local rivals can even contemplate: not burning money. The 10-year-old Gurgaon-headquartered firm said Tuesday it is now generating a profit excluding interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

“We have been in an ecosystem where we have seen a lot of high-growth and several regulatory changes in the payments domain. But what we realized was that payments alone is likely not going to be a very profitable business,” Bipin Singh, co-founder and CEO of MobiKwik, told TechCrunch in an interview.

To get to the path of profitability, MobiKwik has made a number of significant changes to its business in recent years. It stopped participating in the race of aggressively acquire users and fight with heavily-backed firms such as Paytm, which has raised more than $2 billion to date.

Paytm remains unprofitable and an analysis of its financial performance shows that this is not going to change anytime soon. Google, which also offers a payments service in India, has no shortage of cash either. MobiKwik has raised about $118 million to date from Sequoia Capital, American Express, and Cisco Investments among others.

Upasana Taku, co-founder and COO of MobiKwik, recalled an offsite meeting where someone asked her why Kotak and ICICI banks, both of which have about 15 million to 20 million customers, are profitable but wallet apps with tens of millions of users are not. MobiKwik, which employs 400 people, has 110 million users, she said.

In last two and a half years, MobiKwik has cut down on cashback it bandies out to users — a practice followed by nearly every company offering a payments solution in India — and focused on building financial services on top of its wallet app to retain customers and find additional revenue sources.

The company continues to focus on its mobile wallet and payments processing businesses that account for about 65% of its revenue, but its growing suite of financial services such as providing credits and insurance to customers is already bringing rest of the revenue, she said.

That’s not surprising. Fewer than 50 million credit cards are in circulation in India currently, and for people with limited income, getting a loan remains a major challenge.

“Even the population that has access to smartphones and cheap internet data can’t get a credit card in India. We found it a good match for the growth of our payments app. We started serving these users who have the discipline to repay money and have certain kind of income,” the couple said, who are now also donning the role of angel investors.

MobiKwik works with banks and other lenders to finance loans worth Rs 5,000 ($69) to Rs 100,000 ($1380). In the 18 months the service has been live, MobiKwik has offered 800,000 loans and disbursed $100 million. Its health insurance starts at as little as $1.3 a month.

MobiKwik expects its revenue to hit $66 million in the financial year that ends in March next year, up from $28 million a year earlier. The company, which expects to turn fully profitable in the next two years, plans to go public soon afterwards.

MobiKwik competes with a number of players, many of which are increasingly adding financial services such as loans to their platforms. Because these digital platforms are able to process loans without the need of salespeople and support staff, it becomes feasible for banks to chase customers with weak financial power.

India’s overall retail credit demand is expected to grow 60% to $771 billion over the next four years, according to the Digital Lenders Association of India.

India’s 9-month-old CRED raises $120M to help people improve their financial behavior

Many Silicon Valley companies and fintech startups in India today share a common mission: They all want to bring their financial services to the next billion users. Dozens of fintech startups that we have spoken to in recent months have told us that they all want to address much of India, one of the last great growth markets globally, in the next few years.

So you can imagine our excitement when we learned there is at least one startup that is going after just a few million users in the immediate future. We’re talking about CRED, a nine-month-old, Bangalore-based startup that is building solutions to incentivize credit card users in India to become more responsible with money and thereby improve their credit score.

CRED has raised $120 million in a Series B financing round, Kunal Shah, founder and CEO of the startup, told TechCrunch on Monday. He declined to share more information. The startup, which has raised about $145 million to date, is now valued between $430 million to $450 million, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

According to a regulatory filing, existing investors Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and DST Global’s Gemini Investments led the round, with participation from Tiger Global, Hillhouse Capital, General Catalyst, Greenoaks Capital and Dragoneer.

Hundreds of millions of Indians today don’t have a credit score because they have never taken a loan from a recognized entity nor owned a credit card. According to the government’s official figures, fewer than 50 million credit cards are in circulation in India currently, with industry reports suggesting that the actual number of unique credit card holders is about half of that.

“Nobody taught us about how to use money,” Shah told TechCrunch in a recent interview. “This has created a huge trust gap in India. If you look at developed markets, systematic trust is very high between all the entities. Members don’t have to rely on third-parties. In India, even if you wanted to rent a flat, you look for brokers, for instance.”

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You can build that trust when you know how someone handles their money, and how they have handled it in recent history. “Our aim is to create a big membership community with high credit worthiness, therefore open up more opportunities for them,” Shah explained.

Shah is not going after the masses. He wants to focus on just the credit card users for now, and if he could win the trust of just half of those plastic card holders in India, he would consider it a success.

“Instead of chasing the mythological mass customers who are currently useful only on paper if you wanted to boast about your daily active user or monthly active user metric, our goal is to serve the existing users,” he said.

On CRED, users are offered a range of features, including the ability to better track their spending, get reminders and check their credit score, but more importantly, access to a range of lofty offers such as membership to a gym at a discounted price, access to good restaurants at low prices and subscription to various services at little to no charge. Users can access these features by earning points, which they can secure every time they pay their credit card bills on time.

Varun Krishnan, editor of technology news site FoneArena, told TechCrunch that he has found CRED useful in getting reminders to pay his bills and likes that he can pay them through a range of payment options, including UPI apps and debit cards. “I have several cards and it is hard to track amounts and due dates of payment for each one. They send all these alerts on WhatsApp, which is a blessing,” he said.

These are the reasons that attracted many people like Krishnan to join CRED. That, and some incentive to pay his bills — though he hopes that CRED expands the range of offers it currently provides to customers.

That wish may soon come true. In the coming months, CRED will enable these highly sought-after customers to access some financial services from banks in a single-click. Additionally, it is also exploring expansion to some international markets, the aforementioned source said.

CRED does not charge users any money for joining its platform, nor for availing any of the features it offers. But it is generating revenue from some of the partners that are supplying offers on the app.

It’s not a surprise that Shah, an industry veteran known for speaking the uncomfortable truths at conferences, has won the trust of so many investors already. He built one of the biggest payment apps in India, Freecharge, and sold it to e-commerce giant Snapdeal for a whopping $400 million in one of the increasingly rare exits that India’s fintech market has seen to date.