When people suddenly need money, they can either seek it from a close friend or relative. The other option is to seek it from a moneylender. Now, as the world goes digital, mobile, and web-based platform CashBean caters to the sudden financial needs of such people.
All that a person needs after downloading the app is an Aadhar card, a permanent account number (PAN), and a bank account, thus, there is minimal manual intervention. Post OTP verification, the Aadhar, and PAN details are then uploaded to complete the process.
Within 10-15 minutes, if everything is okay, the user's photo matches and his/her score is fine, the money is disbursed into his/her account. "We have a cap of Rs 60,000 in a single disbursement on the loans we offer. However, the bulk of the loans we provide are in the region of Rs 6,000-7,000," says Raghuvir Gakhar, CFO, CashBean.
The minimum monthly salary required to get access to funds from CashBean is Rs 25,000. The micro-lending app caters to the needs of salaried and self-employed in Tier-I and Tier-II cities.
CashBean is a brand used by PC Financial Services, a 100 per cent subsidiary of New York-listed browser company Opera Limited in India. It is also operational in Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, and Mexico under different names.
The purely digital NBFC started its India operations in January 2019. "In India, we did a very good job last year by serving millions who don't have access to bank credit and people looking for short-term loans on tenure base," says Gakhar.
But the tipping point is the interest charged. CashBean charges up to 33 per cent. However, as Gakhar points out, it does not work out to be very expensive for most people since the loan has to be repaid within 15 days to two months. Gakhar points out that while most are repeat customers, the company attracts many new users too. On a Rs 2,000 loan, the repayment is around Rs 2,200. People can manage that additional Rs 200, he adds.
"Around 30-40 per cent are dedicated customers, but new customers keep coming. The interest rate we charge is up to 33 per cent. The bulk of CashBean's business comes from Tier-II cities in Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP, MP, Bihar, and Karnataka," Gakhar states.
"We tap the market by advertising on Facebook and earlier on TikTok. We had a good number of followers on Twitter. We largely use social media advertising," he further says.
CashBean has achieved over 10 million downloads, mainly through word-of-mouth advertising. Almost 50-60% of the app's business comes from existing customers.
"Most customers pay on time. But there are a few who don't. We charge a penalty. There were a total of around 5,000 employees before COVID-19, but we have reduced. Now that the repayment moratorium is over, we plan to scale up operations," Gakhar adds.