Redefining the credit card industry in India

Redefining the credit card industry in India. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR / AFP)

Indian fintech Slice is redefining the credit card industry in India

  • A Bengaluru-based startup is solving the credit card woes of GenZ and millennials in India.
  • Slice offers a completely zero-fee card with no hidden charges or annual fees.
  • It also offers users the ability to split their bills and make payments in a duration of up to three months with no interest.
  • The fintech firm has already amassed over three million users to date.

For every 100 people in India, there are only three credit cards. In contrast, there are close to one billion debit cards in use in India today. Basically, Indians have lived much of their lives on debit cards, leaving them with little to no credit score. But this also means there is a higher penetration opportunity in the South Asian nation. 

That is what fintech firm Slice is around to do — to challenge the credit card industry in India. The new-age payment card offered by Slice, a Bengaluru-based startup, is promising to solve these credit card woes for GenZ and millennials. Founder and CEO Rajan Bajaj reckons the banking industry in India has always viewed credit cards as a loan product rather than a payment product. The four-year-old startup told Tech Crunch Slice offers a prepaid card that comes with a pre-approved credit line.

In short, Slice has made it easier for far more people — even those without a traditional full-time job — to get a card, and the signup process doesn’t take forever. To date, Slice has already amassed over three million users and is now bringing rewards to its app as it attempts to turn the plastic card into a larger financial instrument. 

To Bajaj, the biggest attraction perhaps for users is that they are able to build credit scores, which would eventually make them eligible for better credit cards from other firms and banks, and enable them to secure loans for various purposes. In about six months with Slice, most users have a credit score of more than 700, he said.

How are Slice solving credit card woes in India?

Basically, with slice, the startup is targeting everyone who is eligible for credit and is looking at a 400 million market where their credit limit starts from Rs 10 thousand (US$ 134) and goes up to Rs 10 lakh (US$ 13,425). Additionally, Bajaj claims the Slice app is designed to be highly interactive, intuitive, and relatable to millennials and Genz – helping them truly understand and demystify the complexities of traditional banking. 

Through the slice app, one can have complete control of their card – track their expenses, and repayment schedule to name a few. And as opposed to traditional credit cards that generally come with fixed annual charges, Slice offers a completely zero-fee card with no hidden charges or annual fees. Customers can literally use the product for free for life if they follow a monthly repayment plan.

To top it off, Slice recently launched a three-month no-cost interest offer, allowing users to slice their card bills over three months for free. Bajaj said this is the “longest interest-free installments” offer in the industry with no “hidden or extra charges”. In short, slice card users can get up to 90 days of interest-free installments.

The fintech arm has also launched “slice rewards” which provides up to 2% rewards on every card transaction and is instantly redeemable to cash. Bajaj told Financial Express Online that they “have been working with many brands like Amazon and Flipkart for two years on a no-cost EMI (equated monthly installment) provision. With the introduction of these two new features, slice members can make transactions on five million merchants that accept Visa. They can also convert their monthly bills into three-month installments at no extra charges like – hidden charges or GST. 

“After seeing the success with our no-cost EMI products with no hidden or extra charges, we believe it is time for the industry to start viewing credit as a consumer product with Facebook, Google, and Instagram as competitors. Opposed to pushing it as a loan product to consumers,” said Bajaj.

As reported by TechCrunch, Bajaj stated that the month of May this year was its best month since inception, and June has shown 25% growth. The startup, which provides users credit limits through its own balance sheet, said it will deploy the fresh funding into developing more features for customers. Another notable progress is that within six months of joining Slice, more than 65% of members’ credit scores climbed to 730, he added.