Home Credit India, a local arm of the international consumer finance provider Home Credit with operations spanning over Europe and Asia, plans to roll out a new Consumer Mobile App in the next few months for the Indian market, Vivek Sinha, Chief Marketing Officer has said.

“We are replacing our current consumer App with a new App. What we are doing is enhance our current consumer App which is now more of a servicing App for our current consumers. In the current App, customers can apply for a personal loan or service their existing loans. We will enhance engagement with us in the new App”, Sinha told BusinessLine here.

He highlighted that Home Credit India, which is among the top consumer finance providers in the country, was going beyond lending in the proposed new mobile App. The idea is to make consumer durables buying seamless and technical pilots on the new App are being done for four cities. 

“It will be a shopping App where lending will be a means for consumers to shop what they want to shop. Customers can come to the App to see what are the options in the market. It’s not a super App. This is a different proposition altogether. We are continuously in touch with customers and developing it the way customers would like to have it and not the way we would like to give it to customers”, Sinha added.

Currently, Home Credit India has two consumer Apps —one consumer App with basic features of servicing and the other on HC Money (Co branded with Mobikwik). The HC Money App will continue even after new Consumer App is launched. Currently, Home Credit India has about 1.5 million monthly App users.

Large partnerships

Sinha said that Home Credit India will in next three months announce some large partnerships, especially with mobile Original Equipment Manufacturers and certain tech firms so as to expand its reach. “This will be kind of partnerships that will help us expand our reach 40-50 per cent in terms of number of point of sales. “We are tying up with significant players and we are integrating our lending system into their system. So when customers come to shops they will not be dependent on our people for loan application. Partners can put this Into their own system, they can give loan on our behalf and acquire the customer. It will help the OEMs enhance sales”, he said.

Home Credit India, which became profitable in 2019, had recently changed its customer acquisition model where it has done away with the concept of sales agents/associates and moved to a Partner driven model. The idea is that partners will get the digital solution and they themselves can onboard customers and give credit on behalf of Home Credit, Sinha said.

At the same time, the company has no plans to do away with the point of sale system, which is the primary source of customer acquisition, he added. As on date, the company has about 58,000 touch points as its point of sales. “Our core strength —point of sales system is not going to go away. We are going with more OEMs and tech players as our partners. The change we are bringing is the partner people instead of our people”, he said.

Covid19 impact

Asked about the impact of Covid19 on Home CreditIndia’s operations, Sinha said that Covid impacted the overall sector. “We were not the exception as well. Covid first wave nobody was prepared— we did really well managing the situation. Second wave had derailed demand recovery. Market has now recovered. Number of loans industry has returned to pre-Covid19 level. Omicron has not had much impact on economy and consumer durable loans. Wave three has not caused demand loss”, he added. Sinha highlighted that Home Credit India was trying to become more digital even before Covid19 and that the pandemic forced it to think harder and “we therefore put the accelerator on digitisation of services. Almost everything we do is coming with digital first approach. We have digitised the merchant onboarding as well”.