Three months old fintech startup — Cred — is currently testing Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based digital mode of payments to allow its users to pay their credit card bills, Cred’s founder, Kunal Shah told Inc42.
“We are launching the UPI to be able to make faster credit card payments. It is in early days of testing,” Shah said. He further added that the company is not foraying into UPI payments and the move is just to make credit card payments.
Shah is a serial entrepreneur who earlier launched ventures like PaisaBack, a cashback and promotional discount campaign platform for retailers; and FreeCharge, a coupon-based app for mobile recharge. While he shutdown PaisaBack to launch FreeCharge, Shah sold the latter to Snapdeal in a whopping $450 Mn deal in 2015. Snapdeal then later sold FreeCharge to Axis Bank.
Integrating UPI is, however, not a new thing for Shah. Its Freecharge app also accepts UPI similar to other mobile payments apps such as Paytm.
Cred has reportedly raised $25 Mn funding from Sequoia, Ribbit Capital, and Ru-net. As of December last year, the startup had a 50-member team. It provides its services to select users with easy to UI/UX interface.
In the long run, the company plans on building its consumer base through credit card bill payments and rewards and then develop high-end loyalty and offer other services, including insurance. It offers rewards and loyalty program, called Cred Coins, to its registered users, which can be used to claim rewards from various brands, such as BookMyShow, ixigo, etc.
Cred has tie-ups with more than 34 banks in India. Currently, it allows customers to pay their credit card bills online using their debit card. Once startup integrates UPI, every account holder can transfer money to their respective bank accounts to pay their bills.
It is, however, not clear if Cred wants to limit the UPI offering just for paying credit card bills, as this mode of payments is also used to transfer money from one account to another, and every bank and financial institution in India accept it. In fact, UPI clocked in 674.19 Mn transactions in February 2019 alone, as per NPCI , an umbrella organisation that monitors this mode of payments.
According to a report by ET, citing unnamed sources, Cred has tied-up with Axis Bank to integrate UPI on its platform to ensure that the platform adheres to the guidelines laid by the National Payments Corporation (NPCI) of India.