Bajaj Fin to make payments foray with merchants, consumer push

Bajaj Fin to make payments foray with merchants, consumer push

Bajaj Finance on Wednesday announced its foray into India’s competitive payments business. The consumer financier’s push in this segment will cover its 1.03-lakh strong merchant base and five proprietary apps for consumers.

The company is in the process of launching Bajaj Pay for consumers in Q4, which will offer an integrated payment solution comprising Unified Payments Interface (UPI), prepaid payment instrument (PPI), equated monthly instalment (EMI) card and credit card to its customers.

It is also working on Bajaj Pay for merchants, aimed at broadening a payment solution offering for its merchants and enabling growth in its market share from these merchants in the medium term. These moves will all be a part of Bajaj Finance’s business transformation plan.

The financier is building five proprietary marketplaces — EMI store, insurance marketplace, investment marketplace, ‘BF Health’ and a broking app — with the help of group companies.

“These 5 apps will provide customers with an option to review, compare and buy host of financial products and services across electronics, insurance, investments and health,” the company said in its investor presentation.
The company also plans to partner with an adjunct app ecosystem of more than 25 members, which have relevant products and services for its customers. “These apps will provide adjacency to BFL’s core offerings thereby increasing stickiness,” Bajaj Finance said.

On the operations side, the company is also developing or significantly transforming four ‘productivity apps’ — Sales One app, a merchant app, a collections app and a partner app.

It expects that these apps will significantly improve the productivity and efficiencies of its employees, channel partners and merchant ecosystem by May this year.

“Once deployed, this will require much lower headcount addition as a proportion of growth,” the company said.
Bajaj Finance plans to roll out the first phase of its business transformation by mid-July, 2021.

The business transformation once fully delivered will drive significant velocity gains, reduction in operating costs and significant improvement in customer experience, it expects.

It said it has accelerated its business transformation journey to provide financial products and services to its 46 million customers in a seamless manner by creating an omnichannel framework. The omnichannel model will enable the customer to move between online to offline and vice versa in a frictionless manner.

Bajaj Finance’s push to enable a stronger and direct digital connect with its customers is significant in the light of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) imposition of a monetary penalty of Rs 2.5 crore on the company for using coercive methods of recovery from its borrowers.

The regulator held the company accountable for its failure to ensure that its recovery agents did not resort to harassment or intimidation of customers as part of its debt collection efforts.

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