RBI brings positive rules and regulations knowing digital lending as a genuine entity to scale up the industry, protect borrowers and guarantee ethical lending practices, shares Akshay Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Fibe in an interaction with Srajan Agarwal of Elets News Network (ENN).
Congratulations on the launch of Fibe’s new 3.0 app! Could you please share with us the key features and innovations that make this app stand out from previous versions, and how it enhances the overall user experience?
Fibe is an organisation dedicated to understanding and meeting the needs of its customers at every step. By implementing a conversational UI-based onboarding journey, Fibe ensures a smooth and engaging experience for its customers. The latest version of the Fibe App, version 3.0, offers a dynamic and personalised customer experience tailored to everyone’s journey quality and origin. The integration of a multilingual chatbot and conversational UI enriches the user experience. The 3.0 version also prioritises security with two layers of SSL encryption, data encryption, and multi-factor authentication. These innovations have resulted in numerous benefits, including a 20 per cent increase in converting prospects into customers and a 65 per cent rise in repeat customer rates. Additionally, Fibe’s digital-first approach caters to the evolving needs of modern buyers, providing a fully digital platform for customers, thus making the onboarding process more accessible. From a business perspective, Fibe has achieved improved funnel completion and the ability to offer highly personalised journeys for customers, resulting in enhanced cross-selling opportunities. The app effectively addresses customer queries and incorporates engaging elements such as free credit scores, offer sections, and educational blogs, complementing the fully digital and transparent journey. Furthermore, the process has become shorter and hassle-free, and users can easily check their loan status through an improved digital index, leading to cost savings.
Thanks to the innovation, Fibe has successfully expanded its customer base to 5 million and reduced the duration of the loan registration and application journey by 67 per cent. Customers have responded positively to the new onboarding approach, as evidenced by the increased rating of 4.5 on the Play Store and a boost in the Net Promoter Score (NPS) from 60 per cent to 72 per cent.
Fibe has successfully partnered with the merchant ecosystem across various verticals to offer Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options. Can you elaborate on how Fibe establishes these partnerships and collaborates with merchants to make BNPL a reality for consumers? What benefits does this bring to both Fibe and the merchants?
To provide practical solutions, Fibe continuously prioritises its goals and targeted industries. Fibe has rapidly earned respect in the healthcare and educational sectors, guaranteeing accessible services to individuals without thinking about their financial limitations. Fibe EMIS is a product where customers can get end-to-end credit facilities right from healthcare to school fee financing. By assisting them in achieving their job goals, facilitating skill upgrades, and directly impacting their career choices and advancement.
A customer can avail of the cash up to `10 lacs at no-cost or low-cost EMI with flexible repayment options. Currently, Fibe has onboarded 180 merchants till date and aims to offer Buy Now Pay Later services across healthcare from hospitalisation to affordable insurance, education and school fees financing. This programme increases worker productivity while lowering attrition rates. Customers’ trust in Fibe is increased because of these simple solutions, increasing their propensity to use the company for their needs. As a result, businesses develop close bonds with their clients, who frequently turn to them for loans. Customers receive a readily available option that is much simpler to repay without incurring interest fees in return.
Co-lending has gained significant traction in the credit landscape of India, revolutionising the way loans are disbursed and reducing risks for lenders. How is Fibe leveraging colending partnerships and technology to change the credit landscape in India? Could you provide examples of successful co-lending initiatives undertaken by Fibe?
Fibe as a Layered Service Provider (LSP), also the group company has an NBFC that lends and co-lending is another good option to leverage in the market. As a fintech platform, Fibe makes use of co-lending alliances by working with traditional financial institutions like banks or non-banking financial firms.
(NBFCs), as well as through collaborations with hospitals and educational institutions. These tie-ups helped in reducing overall operating costs and providing easy access to financial services at affordable rates to the customers and still continue to make a decent profit out of it. We have joined forces to combine the lenders’ financial resources with its technology capabilities, resulting in a synergy that benefits all parties.
Fibe streamlines the loan application and approval procedure with the aid of cuttingedge technology, making it quicker and more accessible. Fibe can more correctly determine creditworthiness thanks to artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and customised goods, which leads to better loan decisions and lower risk for lenders. For instance, Fibe, a highly technologically advanced company, bases 90 per cent of its loan decisions on proprietary machine learning algorithms. This led the company to increase a customer retention rate of 88 per cent and an NPS of 72.
The digital lending industry is subject to various regulations and guidelines, particularly in terms of borrower protection and fair lending practices. With the recent implementation of digital lending rules, how does Fibe ensure compliance and what impact do these regulations have on borrowers’ experiences and access to credit?
RBI brings positive rules and regulations knowing digital lending as a genuine entity to scale up the industry and protect borrowers and guarantee ethical lending practices. These rules are designed to encourage openness, stop predatory lending, and protect borrowers’ rights. Fibe and other online lending platforms go to great lengths to adhere to these rules. We at Fibe, strictly adhere to these rules and regulations imposed by RBI and placed a robust system of internal procedures and controls that complies with legal requirements. We carefully evaluate borrowers’ creditworthiness and uphold transparency in the terms and conditions of loans. In addition to our ISO/IEC 27001 certification, Fibe ensures that we adhere to an internationally recognised best practices framework when it comes to our processes, tools, systems, and people. Moreover, to ensure borrower safety, our staff makes procedures and monitors compliance with rules. These laws are essential for protecting borrowers, deterring predatory behaviour, and promoting trust. Fibe’s dedication to compliance ultimately guarantees that we work within the legal parameters, defending the rights of borrowers, encouraging fair lending practices, and responsibly facilitating credit availability.
What are your future plans and aspirations for the company? How do you envision Fibe’s growth and impact in the evolving landscape of digital lending in India and beyond?
Fibe was founded to provide small-ticket bullet loans to young professionals experiencing financial challenges. Over time, as we created numerous models, our goal grew to encompass delivering knowledge to every household. We aim to construct a one-stop solution to meet consumers’ credit needs at every stage. Also, to provide our young people with affordable, credible financial solutions for their financial needs as well as access to accessible upskilling opportunities through innovative customercentric channels utilising Fibe EMIS. This would entail forming alliances with employers and offering alluring programmes for our clients. We want to make Fibe a well-known brand so that every one may take advantage of our affordable product options.