Flipkart mulls entry into digital lending

Flipkart plans stake in Digital Lending; applies for NBFC license

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Online Marketplace Flipkart which was recently acquired by multinational retailer Walmart is looking to offer financial products and is in talks with digital lending startups. The company plans to take a hybrid approach and provide loans to more than 60% of its 100 million customer base as well as create a curated marketplace for lenders.

The Bangalore based e-commerce company has created a team that will look at financial services and products. Flipkart already offers loans to sellers on its platform in association with banks like Axis Bank and Non–Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs). The company expects its fintech products with programs like buy now-pay later and card-less credit facility to contribute to about 15-20% of its growth over a 3-year period. Products like mutual funds and insurance are also being considered as these are sticky products and the e-commerce company can become a one-stop place for its customers. In this area too the company does not have expertise and is looking for partners.

Flipkart is in conversation with various Fintech companies who have tie-ups with multiple banks and NBFC partners to offer personal loans, easy EMIs on product purchases, and mutual funds. Fintech companies like Qbera offer fast personal loans to salaried customers. On the insurance front, it’s looking for micro-insurance for specific purchases on its platform. For instance, a customer will be able to buy a protection plan for a smartphone along with the initial purchase of the smartphone.

As of now, the customers can expect Flipkart to launch its financial services in another three months and they will be catering to vendor lending, consumer lending, and insurance. The company has already identified three partners but stopped short of disclosing their names. E-commerce companies like Snapdeal and Amazon are also looking for or have existing partnerships with fintech companies and will be chief competitors to look out for.

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