Founded by Akshay Mehrotra and Ashish Goyal, EarlySalary is India’s first Salary Advance app which allows young working professionals to get an instant salary advance anytime they need. It allows a person to borrow without the embarrassment of asking friends or relatives for money. Today, EarlySalary has over 1.6 million downloads and helps give short-term bridge finance to young working professionals.
The company also conducts prudent risk assessment by leveraging social profiling to go beyond financial underwriting and IndiaStack. Initially operating in 8 metros, EarlySalary is now catering to working professionals in 15 cities across India. The company has been working on introducing multiple products, line of credit functionality, EMIs and other products focused towards helping young working professionals with credit needs.
EarlySalary is working on a goal post of hitting 100,000 loans per month by the end of 2018. Set on a long term plan, the company wants to reach a total loan disbursal of Rs.1000 crores.
In an exclusive interview, Akshay Mehrotra, Founder & CEO, EarlySalary converses with Apps Unveiled team to divulge more about the inception of the company and its future roadmap to achieving its goals. Edited Excerpts;
Q. EarlySalary is your brainchild. How did you come up with this idea?
We noticed that many young millennials cut down on lifestyle on month-ends, and while we all in some format, in our life, have to be frugal during the month-ends. Apart from asking close friends and family for small bridge loans. We set out to solve this specific problem when a young person needs a small amount of money to sustain over a month end.
We are specifically trying to solve the following four problems:
Speed– When you need money for 10 days, you can’t take 10 days to give it, that’s where the core concept of 10 minutes loans was created.
Non-traditional data for underwriting– Young professionals do not have strong cibil scores. Today we have identified different variables to build a scorecard which combines social media variables and many which allow you to credit NTC customers to borrow in real time.
Machine decisioning systems– As digital systems take over, to underwriting it reduces the total effort to do this business. Today we process more than 40k loan applications a month with 70% full automation and with just two underwriters, to run this entire system.
Lowering the cost of borrowing- If you borrow 10k for 10 days, interest is just Rs.90.
Q. Please tell us a bit about the EarlySalary mobile app and its key features?
EarlySalary is a mobile app which allows you to apply & get a loan approval within 10 minutes and instantly gets money transferred to your account.
EarlySalary Mobile app is an easy solution for your woes for last-minute cash requirement. It operates similar to the cash advance or cash withdrawal feature of a credit card. As a user, you need to download the Mobile app from Google Play Store, share a few details, including Facebook and LinkedIn login details, PAN card number and bank statement.
Within a couple of minutes, EarlySalary takes a decision to lend you money and initiates the procedure to transfer the money to you. Loan taken by the user needs to be repaid when his/her salary gets credited. Whether they will get the loan from EarlySalary or not is powered by their Social worth Score, generated by the company looking at the user’s profile data combining social media data with Credit Bureau data.
Q. Who all can sign up on EarlySalary? What are the minimum requirements for sign up, and how it works?
Any Salaried individual can sign up on EarlySalary. EarlySalary gives out loans from Rs.8,000 up to 1 lakh for a time period of 7 to 30 days. The credit limit is subject to many variables but in-principle you can take-up to 50% of your salary as advance cash loan for 30 days.
Q. How is the response for the EarlySalary mobile app so far? Is the app available for users across Pan India or in selected cities?
In just a year and a half, EarlySalary today, has already achieved more than 1 million downloads and has disbursed more than 75,000 salary advances worth more than 110 crore to young working professionals and is changing the way young India accesses the credit.
Why should one download the EarlySalary mobile app? Your top three reasons for that.
EarlySalary differentiates itself in three ways from other firms in the industry:
(i) EarlySalary provides short term loans typically under 30 days to help you manage your expenses till the month end; whereas most of the banks and other financial institutions offer long term products.
(ii) EarlySalary focuses on young working professionals and becomes your 1st line of credit the day you start to work.
(iii) EarlySalary allows its users to have a sustained lifestyle in their early career stage and thus provide a financial cushion on the tap of a button.
Currently, EarlySalary as a product competes with Credit Cards and Personal Loans. But its biggest competition is borrowing from friends and family.
Q. What was the most challenging part of your journey so far? How did you overcome those challenges?
One of the biggest challenges that we have faced is – ‘Real Time Credit Scoring & Decision making involving risk’. While customers need money for short tenures, we need to make sure that we are prompt in our service and offer the credit in minutes and not in days. To overcome this we approached both credit bureaus in India and data analytics companies in US to help us. Fortunately, we were able to over-come this hurdle. We successfully built our Social Media based Real-time decision making Algorithms, thus enabling young people to borrow with or without Credit Bureau scores.
FinTech is the current buzz in the startup space and many players are disrupting the traditional Banking space by offering solutions for consumer’s pain points like payments, lending, financial inclusion or solving business issues in the banking space including payment aggregation or risk analytics. But we believe we compete with friends, family & employers when it comes to short term credit. Therefore, there is enough untapped ground for us to operate where banks/other lenders are not present.
Q. What do you see as EarlySalary’s biggest challenge in the coming months?
As early-stage ventures grow, the idea is to remain focused on the core offering and try not to do too many things. As we grow rapidly, we will like to be considered the first line of credit to young Indians.
Q. Please shed some light on your roadmap? Where do you see EarlySalary app three years down the line?
Currently, we are working on a goal post of hitting 100,000 loans a month by the end of 2018. Our long term goal is to reach a total loan disbursal of Rs,1000 crores.
Meet Akshay Mehrotra
Currently I’m using iPhone7
My Favorite App picks Instagram, Twitter (other than EarlySalary)
I am a regular user of Facebook and WhatsApp (other than EarlySalary)
My message for Apps Unveiled readers: Think of EarlySalary as your best friend on month ends, whenever you need cash get from us instantly.