ftcash: Empowering 60+ million small businesses with the power of financial inclusion using digital payments and loans.

ftcash is empowering 60+ million small businesses with the power of financial inclusion using digital payments and loans.

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Eligibility

  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Vaibhav Lodha

Initiative's representative date of birth

December 1, 1984

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Which eligible market are you based in?

  • India

Where are you making a difference?

Across India - Payments in more than 150 cities in India and Loans in 7 cities

Website or social media url(s)

https://www.facebook.com/ftcashapp https://www.facebook.com/vaibhavlodha http://linkedin.com/company/ftcash https://www.linkedin.com/in/vaibhavlodha https://www.instagram.com/ftcashapp/ https://www.instagram.com/vaibhavlodha

When was your organisation founded?

06/2015

Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Financial skills and capability
  • Creating digital tools

Project Stage

  • Pilot (have done first proof of concept)
  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $1mil - $5mil

Organisation Type

  • For-profit

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed

"Pankaj, yaar aaj cash nahin hai", "Aisa karo tum next Sunday le lena, main ATM se cash le aaoonga ". "Theek hai sir", replied Pankaj to me. (Translation "Pankaj, I don't have cash today, can you please collect it next Sunday, I will withdraw from the ATM", "Ok Sir" said Pankaj). Pankaj is my newspaper vendor who has served 200+ customers in my neighbourhood for 35 years. Delayed payments to suppliers attract substantial interest rates. Pankaj has intended to scale his business for many years. "It would be so much easier if only Pankaj sent me an online payment link rather than visiting me for collections," I told my (now) Co-founders - Sanjeev and Deepak at an event in 2015. We wondered why wasn't that already happening.

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

India has 60+ million micro-merchants, nearly 96% of small businesses & micro merchants have never received institutional finance and rely on informal distributors or money lenders to finance them. In most cases, these micro-merchants are given loans at exorbitant rates by devious money lenders and repayments methods can be risky. These merchants are never catered by the banks and NBFCs as they do not have any credit history or collateral.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

ftcash provides software and hardware-based full-stack payment solution to small merchants to initiate digital payments in less than 5 minutes. ftcash uses its proprietary algorithm to understand the credit-worthiness using their transaction flow data, savings, network diversity and geographical patterns along with several other data points including psychometric analysis. This allows us to build a customized credit score for the merchant which can be leveraged to provide these SMEs institutional finance and recollect the money from their daily transactions. ftcash works with Banks and Financial Institutions to deploy its solution for all their SMEs. After a successful launch in India in 2015, ftcash is expanding globally. ftcash is being supported by PayPal and MasterCard to enable merchant services globally.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

1. Combined payments and loans platform allows us to access proprietary data of payments used to give our loans which are uniquely repaid back from the payments platform. 2. Merchant relationship through payments platform also allows us to access alternate data from his mobile phone that allows us to gauge the risk better. We conduct a separate psychometric analysis for the merchant to understand this intent to pay the loan back.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

ftcash is converting cash to digital payments thereby creating unique transaction history which didn't exist earlier. We provide preapproved advances/loans which can be disbursed at the click of a button and which can be uniquely paid back from their daily transactions, something like a daily EMI. While the proliferation of WhatsApp and Facebook has transcended from metros to cities and even villages we believe ftcash will be the enabler for them to accept electronic payments and access to institutional finance. We believe that it's time "The Missing Middle" comes of age and gets access to better health, education, and nutrition through financial inclusion.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

Number of Merchants using Digital Payments: 35,000+ Number of Lives Impacted: 170,000+ Volume: $63 million per year NPAs/Delinquency 90+: 2.56% Growth: 30% month over month (7x in the last 6 months.)

6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health

As most large corporates and banks compete to deliver financial services, ftcash captures a formally ignored market like the micro-merchants. ftcash creates a simpler way to access the payments into their bank accounts and make transactions in a faster, more convenient manner. ftcash enables that financial inclusion provides social and economic justice to these underserved communities. Improved cash flows, better cash management and purchasing ability provides a base of a just society.

6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.

Number of Merchants using Digital Payments: 35,000+ Number of Lives Impacted: 170,000+ Volume: $63 million per year NPAs/Delinquency 90+: 2.56% Growth: 30% month over month (7x in the last 6 months.)

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Competitors: Neogrowth, Capital Float, Flexiloans etc. 1. ftcash uses a tech-based collection methodology using digital payments which contribute to the risk mitigation and convenience for merchants. 2. ftcash focusses on small-ticket loans that most of our customers do not get loans in the market without security/collateral. 3. ftcash enables daily repayments deducting the money as the merchant receives it allowing the loan to be repaid without the merchant having to bother with the process.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Number of Merchants using Digital Payments: 35,000+ Number of Lives Impacted: 170,000+ Volume: $63 million per year NPAs/Delinquency 90+: 2.56% Growth: 30% month over month (7x in the last 6 months.) As most large corporates and banks compete to deliver financial services, ftcash captures a formally ignored market like the micro-merchants. ftcash creates a simpler way to access the payments into their bank accounts and make transactions in a faster, more convenient manner. ftcash enables that financial inclusion provides social and economic justice to these underserved communities. Improved cash flows, better cash management and purchasing ability provides a base of a just society.

10. Team

The company was launched in Mumbai, India in mid-2015. It was incubated by PayPal and Facebook and is currently in a strategic partnership with MasterCard to enable merchant services globally. The team comprises of senior executives from Deutsche Bank, Capital One, KPMG, World Bank among others with a pedigree from Wharton, Harvard, IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc. Sanjeev: Dy. CFO, Deutsche Bank | Wharton | IIT, KGP Deepak: Chartered Accountant | KPMG Vaibhav: Director, XPRIZE | World Bank | Harvard

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Religion

If you selected “yes” to any of the categories above, please explain how being a member of this group has impacted you and your work?

India is largely a religious country with a strong bias towards majoritarianism. Being a minority religion (Jain) in India sidelines us from several communities that allow for easy growth in business.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

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