Easy Pay is one of the first and the fast-growing embedded finance & neobanking platform for MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in India. It is amongst the pioneering fintechs in the country, launched with the vision of financial inclusion for the unorganized business sector. Here is our conversation with Mr. Vaibhav Joshi, Co-Founder & CEO, EasyPay.
Tell us about Easy Pay. How did it all begin?
Easy Pay is the one the first and the fast growing embedded Neobank for MSMEs., in India. A study of the fast-evolving domestic MSME market revealed a huge opportunity in offering easy and secure financing to this sector due to the apathy of prevalent financial institutions. As there were no MSME focused fintech players then, we launched Easy Pay (in 2014) with a strong conviction of “Organizing The Unorganized”. This is an offbeat platform that supports & escalates the 2nd largest employer in India and exclusively extends digital convenience for their requirement.
The pandemic further aided the fintech sector because most small & medium businesses quickly adopted an online presence and needed new-age fintech to assist them with digital financial services. As more MSMEs, especially from non-metro markets emerged onto the online platform, there was a pertinent need for a focused and scalable financial service, especially for lending, to meet their personal and business demands. We already have experience servicing the retail sector and a pan-India presence across 18,000 plus pin codes. The goal is to provide all banking services by creating an integrated financial ecosystem for MSMEs. We are helping MSMEs to unleash their full potential, riding on domain expertise, strong business acumen, and background in technology, banking, advisory, finance, and strategy.
What is the new business focus for Easy Pay?
The domestic MSME sector is the 2nd largest employer and contributes to about 30% of India’s GDP. However easy and timely credit access remains a big challenge for this sector, especially for the players with no or limited credit data. Recognizing these challenges faced by MSMEs and riding on the experience of serving the unorganized retail sector, Easy Pay created an embedded finance Neobank, offering a complete banking experience, rendered in a true-blue digital manner within the regulatory framework, all at a finger’s touch. We have developed our proprietary tools and engine framework to ensure safer underwriting, instant verification, and quick disbursals of loans. This along with AI-based self-help and an immersive customer experience makes us a user’s delight. As an embedded finance Neobank for MSMEs, Easy Pay aims to be a one-stop shop for all their financial needs, personal or business. Our product offering includes payments, banking, lending, wealth creation, and investments as well as value-added services like taxation, inventory management, and khaata amongst others. We aim to be the #1 embedded finance Neobank in 2 years, with our core proposition being consumer-centricity.
Why choose the MSME sector? Especially when the B2C digital loan lending space is thriving.
Recent industry data showed that we have approximately 70Mn MSMEs employing over 110Mn workforce. The digitally transforming India has led to the advent of many entrepreneurial ventures from the non-metro markets, or what we call the real Bharat, that accounts today for over 1150Mm and $1T GDP. Going by recent industry reports, the total MSME credit gap in India stands at $375Bn and nearly 95% of this addressable credit demand comes from micro and small enterprises. However, only 14% of the total outstanding loan ($800Mn) is with the MSME sector. Due to a lack of timely credit sources from traditional banks, the MSMEs looked at fintech players for their monetary requirements. This transformation of MSMEs is evident from the fact that now 72% of payments are done digitally compared to 28% of cash transactions. Traditional banks usually have a long processing time, document-heavy processes, and long gestations period for loan disbursals. So, as more MSMEs emanate onto the digital marketplace, there is immense potential for Fintechs to help grow this sector. The growth of technology aided by improved infrastructure and conducive government policies has created a favorable environment for Fintechs. So, we built a disruptive embedded finance Neobank that provides all banking& financial services customized for MSMEs.
What are the unique offerings at Easy Pay?
We are creating a financial ecosystem on one app that can support MSMEs at every stage of their growth journey. We have an in-house built Credit AI Engine that enables us to offer pre-approved loans to all our merchants irrespective of their credit score. This complete digital journey from lead to disbursal is completed within 2 hours. This credit AI also helps to make credit data-backed decisions by looking at alternate data as well as transactional data allowing Easy Pay to understand customers’ creditworthiness and intent to repay. This helps us to reduce the risk of delinquency, thus making us the preferred partner of choice for NBFCs and Banks. We did a POC and have disbursed over 1800 loans with 90% of borrowers being new to credit and maintained a delinquency rate of 0% thanks to the Credit AI engine. Additionally; we offer intelligent notifications for timely bill payments, and bill clearance, and make business estimates based on your current transactions, assisting organizations in planning and strategically speeding up their growth. Easy Pay thus offers, 24×7 frictionless digital banking, a sleek & hassle-free experience, and zero wait servicing with an extremely high level of focus on engagement & retention. All these features and a host of others applications in the pipeline continue to make us a user’s delight, which is the testimonial ranking of 4.3 on the Play Store.
Tell us about Tech @ Easy Pay?
We are constantly leveraging technology to not only enhance our services but also help us make data-backed decisions, which eventually helps in providing a delightful user experience. We have quick onboarding, instant verification, a seamless user journey from lead to retention and AI-based self-help, to have an immersive experience.
We also deploy technology for self-service and assisted services – like Chat Bots and the virtual relationship manager. Additionally, as an embedded finance Neobank, a robust security interface is a high priority so we work with the best in the class, through AWS Security Services who have vastly improved our crisis mitigation and crisis response time. In addition to the industry and regulatory standpoint, we have also developed our compliance matrix to check and streamline our data compliances, which help is keeping high standards of compliance and mitigate the risk of fraudulent and dubious interferences. To enhance the app performance, it is architected in such a way that the load on the server is minimal for a given request. Each request is categorized into either an HTML page request or a data request. This ensures that the server responds to each of these requests individually, thereby reducing the load and block time on itself. So the data fetch takes minimal time and at the same time, barring network latency, it provides the results in sub-second. This ability to distribute the system at a granular level using Spring technologies to ensure that specific functionalities with higher load can later be moved to more sophisticated infrastructure and thereby provide results faster.
We are ISO 27001 certified company and under that we have defined the requirement of an ISMS – Information Security Management System. Besides the industry and regulatory standpoint, we have also developed our compliance matrix to check and streamline our data compliances. Technology and innovation thus have enabled us to add additional features to our existing product stack to ensure convenience and a delightful user experience, along with robust security.
What are the immediate plans for the brand?
We aim to be the trusted friend of the MSMEs and are committed to their growth by providing financial inclusion. On the business front, we aim to be the #1 choice with 1 Mn active merchants in 12 months. Apart from credit access we also want to partner with these MSMEs for all their financial needs to be part of their growth journey as a One Stop Shop for all their banking & business needs.
How is life #Easy Pay?
Life at Easy Pay is a hustle but equally fun because we are always finding ways to do better! So routine or ‘standard way to do things are not the norm at Easy Pay – we like disruption and innovation. When teams work together – there is no delegation, we encourage ownership and teamwork I know most of my employees by their name, and I look forward to meeting the new joinees, and interacting with these young minds. We have many workshops, incentive programs, and recreational activities like chess, Zumba, or Carrom, to help create a sense of teamwork and trust among employees. We are always looking for intangible assets in a person say like – Commitment, perseverance, and passion to learn more.
Tell us as New CEO what are your responsibility and key focus?
In my role as Co-Founder & CEO, I aim to leverage Easy Pay by unlocking the potential of Connected Banking which will revolutionize the accessibility to banking for over 70+ million MSMEs in the country. My vision is to drive stellar business growth and also make Easy Pay the largest and the fastest-growing MSME embedded finance Neo bank in the country. The Fintech sector is at a very exciting juncture driving the digital transformation of the financial sector in the country and with Easy Pay, we march on this growth journey aligned to the vision of Digital India and the economic progress of the retail sector which in turn is financially empowering the nation.