Husband-Wife Duo Enabling Travel For Everyone Via SanKash's TNPL

SanKash is making travel more accessible, affordable and fulfilling by offering flexible, pay-over-time payment choices, while most banks are shying away to lend for travel. "Prioritizing the needs of the customers and in an effort to make the most to the entire travel ecosystem by building new products is our focus," Founders, SanKash states

SanKash came about in 2018 as the founders Akash and Abhilasha couldn’t find an alternative payment solution for their yearly travel. Hence, SanKash was launched with the vision- to enable travel for everyone!

Providing POS alternative payment solutions without a card was at the heart of SanKash’s proposition. However, the biggest challenge that the travel industry faces is that of a complex product, which on average is sold for Rs.70,000 and upwards even for domestic travel.

SanKash’s proprietary AI and ML-powered logical engine solves the multiple BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) providers with multiple customer journeys’ problems by aggregating all BNPL providers to offer seamless Travel-Now-Pay-Later options to travel merchant’s customers while keeping all cross-selling opportunity unique to the merchant.

Bringing the BNPLs to one table gives uniqueness to SanKash. If Lender A credit assesses only salaried travellers from metros, whereas Lender B does it only for salaried from Tier I and II cities, then bringing that intelligence to provide the customer details for a credit assessment to the right Lender is what we do! Multiple BNPL alignments promise highest approval rates and the cheapest product to consume for travel at the time and point of purchase.

According to you, what are the current driving trends of the industry?

Indians today are travelling for varied reasons, the reason today isn’t just leisure.

There is a rise in impact and purpose-driven bookings; people are travelling for yoga Retreats, sustainable events and camps. Travellers are focused on engaging in positive practices, including wellness activities, protecting the environment, and more

Family time is travel time now - 94 per cent of Indians are most looking forward to travelling with their family in 2022. 

Dream Destinations Becoming a Reality- 93 per cent of Indians are planning to spend more or the same on travel in 2022 compared to a typical pre-pandemic year. They are planning on trips to dream destinations like Maldives, Europe, Dubai and Turkey.

Talk about your USPs. How do you stand unique from your peer competitors?

SanKash aims to revolutionise the traveler experience by offering Travel-Now-Pay-Later option within the Travel, Airline and Hospitality industry by seamlessly aggregating BNPL providers on a common interface using AI powered logical engine at the time of payment & point of purchase.

As a platform SanKash is not a marketplace for customer or a merchant. SanKash AI powered engine does all the heavy lifting for customer, with basic information and travel data of customer the engine assigns the financial provider to a customer for highest approval at cheapest rates.

Sankash has a three-pronged offering USP:

- We have an Upscaled technology offering- Sankash’s proprietary AI and ML powered logical engine aggregates BNPL provider for merchants defeating the exclusivity clause of one BNPL provider tie-up with a merchant.

- Sankash acts as the focal point- A common platform for both Merchants and BNPL providers to offer and avail seamless Travel-Now-Pay Later option to their customers

- Unique Cross-Selling Opportunities- Keeps all cross-selling opportunities unique to the merchant

What were the key challenges that SanKash encountered? How helpful were they for your business development?

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions posed as the biggest hurdle since we started in 2018. While the Travel industry took a major hit, we had just geared up to launch and despite of COVID stricken timeline we managed to grow our Travel Merchant base and association with 5500+ Travel merchants.

We on boarded biggies of the Travel Industry- Thomas Cook, SOTC to name a few. After remaining indoors for almost two years during full and partial lockdowns imposed to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, people are enthusiastic to travel like never before but are hesitant due to lack of funds. This helped us on board an array of BNPL players to enable these travel seekers and make Travel an essential in one’s life.

Discuss the difference between BNPL and TNPL and how SanKash is a TNPL which provides services without including any additional costs.

BNPL and TNPL are fintechs who manage credit risk at the ‘point of purchase’. After BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later), it’s now TNPL (Travel Now, Pay Later). BNPL has gained popularity specially riding on the demand of e-commerce retail marketplaces, the BNPL industry is poised to grow at a 56 per cent CAGR in the coming year.

After remaining indoors for almost two years during full and partial lockdowns imposed to counter the COVID 19 pandemic, people are enthusiastic to travel. With the normalcy in the pandemic situation, the financial prospect of Indians have got better, but the dent in savings during the financial crisis have resulted in shortage of funds for planning a trip. So, people are looking for ways to fund their travel without missing the opportunities.

The nuances of a travel industry have created a demand for a TNPL, which is more specific to the needs of the travel industry versus a generic BNPL. The traveller’s expectations are continuing to shift from the traditional lending modes, towards alternative and easy digital payment solutions. Having said that, the one-size-fits-all approach of a BNPL cannot be replicated for a complex product like travel, with its own nuances

Sankash- Once known as just another 'Travel Now Pay Later' finance provider has moved to become India's first Buy Now Pay Later Aggregator. Our latest offerings includes a 0% EMI plan for 3 months TNPL loan if availed, where the Customer or the Travel Merchant and neither the BNPL provider bears the additional costs like processing fee, hidden costs, etc.

How does Sankash plan to develop further? What are your next big plans?

Sankash as a BNPL aggregator network wants to focus on transitioning Travel as an affordable and accessible phenomenon and no more a luxury activity.

In doing so, SanKash plans to alleviate the challenges faced by both travellers and travel merchants of having to choose through a confusing set of multiple and different BNPL players’ offers at the checkout page not just for travel packages. An integration hub for BNPL solution providers all across the country giving merchants a single API to integrate with a large and ever growing suite of solutions, we want to expand this service further to the aviation and hospitality industry with our Fly Now Pay Later and Stay Now Pay Later APIs.

What is your monetisation model? Also, share about the funding status.

SanKash revenue is through 3 sources, processing fee from customer, revenue share from service provider (BNPL providers) and subvention income from travel merchant.

SanKash is seed and pre-series A funded.

As an entrepreneur, what has been your biggest learning so far? What part of your work do you enjoy the most?

Our biggest learning, especially after having sailed through the tough waters of the pandemic, has been, to remain resilient to our purpose! During the pandemic, we learnt our collective strength as travel merchants and financial institutions were all sailing in the same boat. Prioritizing the needs of the customers and in an effort to make the most to the entire travel ecosystem by building new products during the pandemic thaw, has been the most exciting part of this journey.

Building a business with resilience has always been a part of the package of becoming an entrepreneur. But, being extremely flexible during testing times and keeping the focus on what’s best for our customers and merchants can help us sail through any storm.

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