Bengaluru-based fintech startup Open has tied up with global card payment network, Visa to launch a suite of innovative products that include a business credit card for SMEs, payment gateway and real-time payments.
The companies said that the business card from Open will be specifically designed to help startups qualify based on funding rather than credit history.
Open Financial Technologies was founded in May 2017 by Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, Ajeesh Achuthan and Deena Jacob. The startup offers a digital banking service for small businesses. The accounts are linked with startup’s artificial intelligence (AI)-driven accounting engine that automates bookkeeping and expense management, along with enhanced APIs to drive his/her banking needs.
The company raised $38 Mn in funding from investors such as Tiger Global, Tanglin Venture Partners Advisors, 3one4 Capital among others. The last round of funding was expected to be used towards new products and value-added services.
The strategic partnership with Visa seems to be the first of such additions as the company had announced plans to launch business card and the Layer programmable bank account.
The business card comes with a suite of expense management tools that will help businesses manage their expenses and payouts and can be issued to employees, set limits and comes integrated with WhatsApp for seamless expense filing.
The credit card also comes with a reward program that lets startups earn points for their spend which can be redeemed for various software subscriptions, cloud hosting and discounts on co-working spaces.
Further, Open will now enhance the Open API banking suite called Layer through new features like real time payments settlement and refunds. Layer is a programmable bank account for developers to integrate banking into their business and product flows.
The current account comes integrated with an advanced developer-friendly payment gateway with features such as tokenisation, real-time payment settlements and instant refunds.
According to a 2017 report by Allied Market Research, the collective customer base of neo banks is expected to grow at a CAGR of 50.6% from 2017-2020. Another Indian startup in the space is the mobile-only bank, Digibank, launched in April 2016 by DBS Bank. This app is also integrated with AI-driven services.
Over the last few months, Visa has been actively engaging with startups to create a slew of products. For example, Ola launched an Ola Money-SBI Credit Card with plans to issue as many as 10 Mn credit cards by 2022. Prior to this, Visa introduced NCMC cards which will allow for the contactless feature of tapping to pay, that provides a card balance for offline usage at transit venues.