In the past few years, non-banking lenders, especially digital lenders, have mushroomed in India, and their loan books have expanded over 20 per cent year-on-year, according to some estimates.
Alongside the growth of online lenders, a whole ecosystem is developing and credit scoring platforms are one of the important factors in the chain. Such platforms evaluate the creditworthiness of people seeking loans and ascertain eligibility based on customers’ transactions and online behaviour.
CreditMantri is one such digital platform that enables credit decisions to be made more efficiently by both borrowers and lenders through innovative use of data and technology.
“We make credit possible. We enable customers to take charge of their credit health and help them make better borrowing decisions,” says Ranjit Punja, Co-founder and CEO, CreditMantri.
His platform offers services to the entire spectrum of credit-seekers, which includes those who have never borrowed before, those with a sketchy credit history and those who are credit healthy.
Besides, it provides financial institutions (banks and NBFCs) access to better quality consumer risk profiles and helps these institutions cut down on expensive credit operations and processes.
“Our platform simplifies and redefines the way borrowers and lenders interact during the credit availing process,” says Punja.
R. Sudarshan and Gowri Mukherjee are the other two co-founders in the company.
CreditMantri: A smart platform
The creation of a robust digital infrastructure, supported by Aadhaar, eKYC, and India Stack, has helped the online lending sector offer loans conveniently over digital channels.
Data and technology are at the core of the platform, according to CreditMantri.
On the company’s platform, customers can create profiles to understand their credit potential. The platform develops a credit score that is created using a combination of traditional data such as credit reports, bank statements and government data sources as well as alternate data such as social media, mobile phone data and other key data points.
“Alternate data is particularly important in India where customers are exposed to limited choice and access to credit. Users give access to 2000+ credit relevant data points and our proprietary algorithm builds their credit profiles based on it,” quips Punja.
CreditMantri was launched in 2014 and claims to have pocketed many achievements since then.
In June 2016, the credit-rating platform launched a service that enabled users to access their credit score and history in real-time, using tradeline credit data from global data and insights company Equifax.
A month later, CreditMantri announced a partnership with Bank of Baroda to launch a first of its kind credit product, which would source traditional and alternate data and help evaluate an applicant’s creditworthiness and make a credit-risk decision.
It claims to have helped over 5 million users make better borrowing decisions by means of their credit profile.
Besides, it is currently working with over 45 leading banks and NBFCs to create new products for unmet customer needs, which would help customers expand to newer segments.
Standing out in the crowd
CreditMantri competes with various platforms, as its service spans across the three segments of credit-seekers (those new to credit, those with a sketchy credit history and the credit healthy).
In the credit market segment, it competes with BankBazaar and Paisa Bazaar. In the credit improvement space, the platform competes with Credit Sudhaar; and in the B2B space, Credit Vidya is its competitor.
Punja believes that their customer centricity and the range of services they offer differentiate them from competitors. “On the B2B side, we are unique in the way we utilise digitally verifiable data points in helping lenders make faster, better informed and more reasonable credit decisions.”
He added that the approach is particularly useful in a market like India where consumer understanding of credit scores and how it impacts their ability to borrow is very low.
According to a recent report on fintech and digital banking by the RBI, P2P lending is expected to observe a CAGR of 60 per cent and be worth Rs 60 lakh crore by 2025.
This is directly proportional to the future growth of credit scoring platforms, which build credit ratings for borrowers and help lenders in loan disbursement decision-making.
Punja aims to be India’s most inclusive credit facilitator and to achieve the vision, he is constantly working with various lenders to create tailor-made products that would help bring formal credit to a large section of underbanked Indians.
“We are also committed to building a credit-healthy nation by educating customers on the importance of good credit health,” he concludes.