Xiaomi, the No.1 smartphone brand in India, has forayed into online lending, launching ‘Mi Credit’ in India, joining a growing wave of fintech startups in the South Asian nation.
The credit platform, designed to attract young professionals and millennials in the country, is a marketplace for personalized lending, offering users credit between Rs 5,000 ($70) and Rs 100,000 ($1,400) at reportedly low interest rates. The app comes pre-installed on new Xiaomi devices, and is available on any devices running on Android OS, but not available to iPhone users.
In developing Mi Credit, Xiaomi teamed up with a few different fintech startups, including ZestMoney, which is based in Bangalore. Other fintech partners include CreditVidya, Money View, Aditya Birla Finance Limited and EarlySalary.
The Mi Credit app accesses users’ call logs and texts to search for information on transactions, as well as other details, to determine a person’s credit worthiness. Xiaomi Vice President and Managing Director of Xiaomi India Manu Jain said the process only takes a few minutes, and that eligible applicants get credit straight away.
In light of recent concerns about Chinese companies’ data security, Jain assured users that Xiaomi has data protection agreements with its partners and asserted consumers’ data cannot be used for any purposes other than providing loans.
In November, Xiaomi made the new venture app accessible in limited areas during a trial period, but the service will be available to all by the end of March 2020. Going forward, Jain said Xiaomi is open to expanding its financial services offerings to also include insurance and wealth management products.
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