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Chinese smartphone maker Oppo ventures into financial services in India

Oppo Kash comes three months after Xiaomi and RealMe entered financial services space in India.

Photo source: shutterstock.com

Following the footsteps of bigger rival Xiaomi and former sub-brand RealMe, Chinese smartphone maker Oppo has ventured into the financial services market in India.

The Guangdong-headquartered company on Monday rolled out a fintech app called Oppo Kash to offer mutual funds, personal and business loans, and mobile screen insurance.

“We plan to offer a one-stop solution for all financial services on the phone. All financial needs should be fulfilled when a user has an Oppo phone within few clicks and with a simple, mobile-first experience,” Zafar Imam – Lead, Oppo Kash, said in a statement. “We are the first smartphone brand in India to launch mutual funds.”

According to a Hong Kong-based research firm Counterpoint, Oppo was the fifth largest smartphone maker in India after Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, and RealMe last year. The company claims to have 50 million users in India currently and said it is adding 15-20 million more every year.

“With OPPO Kash, we will provide the end-to-end financial solution, available at the palms of our consumers,” said Sumit Walia, VP – product & marketing at Oppo in the statement. “Our aim is to have 10 million consumers in the next five years on the platform having used either of our financial services worth INR 50,000 crore (USD 6.8 billion).”

Over the next 18 months, the company said it will have six financial offerings in its kitty – digital payments, lending, savings, insurance, financial education, and a financial well-being score. The app is expected to come pre-installed with the Oppo device and is also available on Google Play for non-Oppo users.

The announcement comes almost three months after Xiaomi rolled out its digital marketplace ‘Mi Credit’ to lend consumers up to INR 100,000 (USD 1,400) at an interest rate as low as 1.35% per month. Similarly, RealMe unveiled its financial services platform RealMe Paysa to facilitate quick personal and business loans as well as screen and mobile damage insurance.

“It’s a long term vision to create a complete ecosystem where once consumers enter, they can get end-to-end solutions—buying, selling, exchanging (phones), and funding, all at one place,” RealMe CEO Madhav Sheth told KrASIA in an earlier interview.

In fact, Xiaomi was the first one to make a move into financial service among smartphone player in the South Asian nation. In March 2019, it had launched its payments app Mi Pay in India powered by UPI (Unified Payments Interface), a government-backed payment tool. It has had ambitions of getting into lending space since 2017 when it invested USD 8 million in a Bengaluru-based student lending platform KrazyBee.

Oppo has tied up with lending startup EarlySalary to disburse personal loans up to INR 200,000 (USD 2745) and business loans up to INR 2 crore (USD 273,551). It also partnered with ICICI Lombard, the insurance arm of an Indian bank to offer mobile phone screen insurance. With the new fintech app in tow, Oppo has jumped into the crowded digital lending and wealth management space. While there are a plethora of new-age digital lending startups like LoanTap, MoneyTap, LazyPay, Cashe, and ETMoney, among others, big-wigs like SoftBank and Alibaba-backed payment service Paytm, Walmart-owned payment platform PhonePe have forayed into mutual funds and insurance services and are now looking to get into soon-to-be USD 1 trillion lending market in the country.

The company also stated that it is piloting a “phygital” acquisition model (a combination of online and offline marketing), leveraging the smartphone sales team in Oppo stores to cross-sell financial products. “The pilot will run in select stores in select Tier 1,2,3 cities for 6 months after which an all India rollout will be done,” it said.