The Story of Data with Yezdi Lashkari

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Flexmoney’s digital credit platform enables lenders to offer mass-market, ‘sachet-sized’ digital point of sale BNPL credit to its customers. We speak to Yezdi Lashkari, CEO of Flexmoney in a bid to get to know their inner workings with AI, and how AI is shaping the future of consumer lending

Your venture Flexmoney enables users to avail bite-sized loans on ecommerce platforms. What are the trends you have seen or insights you have gathered vis-a-vis the use of AI by such platforms?

AI in financial services and BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later_is being used in a number of parts of the credit lifecycle – for underwriting customers, detecting fraud patterns, predicting delinquency and default behavior, and as a potential for upsells and cross-sells. Flexmoney is a BNPL and commerce infrastructure which enables banks and NBFCs to offer mass market instant digital credit to customers across any merchant point of sale. We use AI/ML for identity and KYC verification in our origination engine as well as undertake real-time fraud detection based on purchase patterns across our network.

You have seen the course of digital payments in India from evolution to maturity from closed quarters. How do you see it graduating to the next level?

Consumer preferences are shifting away from rigid, cumbersome, silo’d legacy banking products such as personal loans, credit cards, consumer finance desks at merchants, to a single, flexible, digital credit line useable everywhere for consumption finance, whether it is ordering food or groceries via BNPL, buying a new mobile phone, or booking a vacation getaway via EMI.

We believe the future of consumer credit will be digital, mobile, cardless, and user-centric where the financing will be embedded in the commerce journey for the consumer and the consumer will be in control. In addition, user behavior is shifting – consumption finance is moving away from larger ticket bank loans (INR 2L+) to ‘sachet-sized’ credit purchases (< INR 25,000). Flexmoney’s digital credit platform enables lenders to offer mass-market, ‘sachet-sized’ digital point of sale BNPL credit to its customers.

How, in your opinion, are consumer lending firms such as yours leveraging technology to provide credit? What are the risks involved and challenges faced by Flexmoney’s way of offering loans ‘buy now, pay later’?

Until now, Credit Cards were the only instrument of credit consumption. Banks have found it un-viable to expand the reach of credit cards beyond the top 3% of Indian population. Consumer lending firms are using technology to expand the reach of credit and increase customer access through technology integrations and partnerships.

Flexmoney’s, InstaCredTM, India’s First Full-Lifecycle BNPLCredit Network Platform enables trusted Banks and NBFCs to easily offer branded, sachet-sized, cardless, digital credit lines to their customers. Our seamless and secure user experience identifies the user via their registered mobile number and authorizes the credit purchase in real-time via our checkout integrated UX. No card or card number is required.

Unlike most fintech BNPL lenders, we are a B2B2C fintech infrastructure company. Our mission is to enable mass-market digital credit for the consumption ecosystem including banks, NBFCs, merchants and brands.

What are some of the existing gaps in the digital credit market and how do you intend to address them as a leading market player?

The disruption from e-commerce, EMI and BNPL checkout finance, and the customer shift to mobile-first payments and banking has created an ecosystem-wide market gap for a mass-market digital purchase credit product. Traditional banks & NBFCs have been unable to address this opportunity with their legacy offerings of credit cards and loans. Flexmoney is building the next-generation credit infrastructure to address this market gap for the ecosystem. We aim to scale our credit network footprint to many more lenders and merchants, as well as launch additional products and consolidate our position as the leading digital credit and BNPL infrastructure in India with the vision to simplify and democratize consumer credit.

How competitive is the space you work in and how do you plan to stay ahead of the curve?

Unlike most fintech BNPL lenders, we are not a direct-to-consumer lender ourselves. We are a B2B2C fintech infrastructure company. Our digital credit network platform enables trusted banks & NBFCs to offer a best-in-class, branded digital credit and BNPL product to the market. In that sense, we are somewhat unique as an enabling BNPL infrastructure and distribution network for the ecosystem

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