Xiaomi launches Mi Credit in India

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Chinese major Xiaomi on Tuesday formally launched its lending platform Mi Credit in India, wherein individuals can avail up to Rs 1 lakh loan, and said it plans to introduce more financial products.

 Till now, the company has been operating the Mi Credit platform on a pilot basis.

Last year, it had announced to offer loans of up to Rs 1 lakh in partnership with KreditBee.

"We have been running pilots in different forms and this is the first formal launch. Mi Credit is an online curated marketplace for lending to offer the best personal loans...People can get up to Rs 1 lakh of loan and the process takes minimal time," Xiaomi Vice President and India Managing Director Manu Jain said.

He added that KreditBee is not among the list of partners in the current format.

The current lending partners for Mi Credit are primarily NBFCs or fintechs such as Aditya Birla Finance Ltd, Money View, EarlySalary, Zestmoney, and CreditVidya.

This is the second financial product being made available by Xiaomi in India, after Mi Pay.

Mi Pay is a UPI-based payment app available on MIUI (Xiaomi's operating system) phones, and can also be downloaded from GetApps and Google Play Store.

It was launched in India in March 2018 and has over 20 million registered users.

Hong Feng, co-founder and senior vice president, Xiaomi Corporation and chairman and CEO, Xiaomi Finance, said the company's Mi Finance business started four years ago in China.

"Today, we have over 300 million Mi Fans in our global community and having understood their consumption behavior - it is one of the strengths we aim to leverage to build a stronger Mi Finance business globally," he said, adding that he was confident of India becoming the largest market outside of China for financial solutions.

Feng said Xiaomi offers a variety of financial solutions like wealth management and insurance products in China and is keen on bringing these to India as well in collaboration with various partners.

Jain said the company is looking at bringing more financial products in India but it would depend on factors like its current financial services business being stable, the ecosystem around being mature and finding the right partners.

The company has a 20-member team that is working with the headquarters to bring these financial solutions to the Indian market.

He pointed out that the opportunity in online credit lending in India is estimated to touch Rs 70 lakh crore by 2023, as per a BCG report.

Citing a CIBIL report, Xiaomi said over Rs 4 lakh crore worth of personal loans are outstanding from nearly 1.9 crore customers, with each user accounting for almost Rs 2 lakh outstanding amount.

Of these 1.9 crore customers, the majority tend to avail it for medical emergencies followed by shopping, wedding, travel and education purposes.

"Mi Credit has been built as the first personal loan choice for aspirational young professionals and millennials. Mi Credit solves most challenges associated with the traditional lending industry with a 100 percent digital experience," Jain said.

Mi phone users can also check their credit scores on the app for free.

"All user data on Mi Credit is stored securely in encrypted format in India through our partner Amazon Web Services Cloud Infrastructure," he said.

Mi Credit has already disbursed loans of over Rs 28 crore in November this year. Over 20 percent of its users availed the highest amount of loan of Rs 1 lakh.

Currently, Mi Credit services more than 10 states spanning across 1,500 pin codes, and aims to expand its availability to 100 percent of the pin codes by the end of the financial year 2018-19, Jain said.

Mi Credit app will come pre-loaded on all MIUI phones and can be downloaded from Google Play Store and GetApps, Xiaomi's own app store.

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