Axis Bank-owned FreeCharge Plans to Foray into Lending and Insurance

The eight-year-old digital payments firm will leverage the services of its parent entity and launch these services within next four months.

Gurgaon-based digital payments company, FreeCharge is planning to add more financial services on its application beyond payments, across insurance, lending and even allowing customers to directly open bank accounts. 

According to an ET report, the eight-year-old firm will leverage the services of its parent entity and launch these services within next four months.

In March 2018, Axis Bank-owned FreeCharge, has gone live on BHIM UPI (Unified Payment Interface) on its application and has seen a significant growth. “With the opening of new options like UPI, we have seen an addition of 2.5 million new customers on FreeCharge, a 40% jump in monthly active users on the platform and even 45% higher payments happening through the app,” said Sangram Singh, the chief executive officer at FreeCharge. “We have also earmarked a budget to promote our products through incentives and discounts to accelerate customer acquisition in this competitive world of digital payments.” 

The reason behind FreeCharge’s entry in to the fintech club is to take the bank to the larger population of non-Axis Bank customers who could use digital payments as the first step towards adopting a complete digital financial services offering from the bank, added Sangram. 

To support the plans, the company has also increased its staff strength by 30% to presently around 256 people and has operations across Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon where they have built the new head office. 

With the launch of these new financial services including lending, saving and insurance, FreeCharge would be directly competing with well funded payments-cum-e-commerce platform, Paytm that already has been planning and adding such services on its platform. 

Founded by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon in 2010, FreeCharge was acquired by ecommerce company Snapdeal for $400 million from its founders in 2015 and later it was sold to Axis Bank in a mere $60 million in 2017.

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