Experian: consumer in APAC struggle with bill payments
In Experian’s 2020 Global Insights Report, the consumer credit reporting company, highlighted the impact COVID-19 has had on consumer spending habits and the potential implications for financial institutions.
Key findings from the report:
- A 23% reduction in discretionary spending since the beginning of the pandemic, with 20% of consumers report that their reduction in discretionary spending is due to job loss and/or expecting a shift in their financial circumstances
- 29% of consumers are spending less due to lifestyle changes as a result of social distancing measures
- A 50% increase in the number of APAC consumers facing challenges when it comes to paying personal loans and mortgages
- 89% of consumers opted for financial assistance and/or payment deferment support since the outbreak of COVID-19
- 41% reported that they would give an organisation more business if they believed they were treated fairly during the pandemic
The report Surveyed 3,000 consumers and 900 executives from the retail banks, e-commerce, consumer technology and telecommunications sector, and is the second of three studies exploring the major shifts in consumer behaviours and business strategies prior to, and post COVID-19.
"This crisis has created huge challenges for everyone. Consumers are doing the right thing to protect their financial health by re-prioritising their spending. For those facing challenges in paying their bills, the loan deferrals available in some markets enables them to discuss a short-term payment suspension, or to defer or reduce payments, and this should not impact their credit history if they agree on the terms with their lender,” commented Ben Elliott, CEO Asia Pacific, at Experian.
"As customer profiles change rapidly, lenders face the prospect of steep provisioning. We have been helping banks and lenders to understand that during a downturn, it is important for them to utilise a decisioning system to identify financially stressed customers with early-warning indicators, respond quickly to change, predict future customer behaviour, and deliver the right treatment at the right time. We've found that this helps with building greater trust and ensuring loyalty in the long run, and also improves their customer retention,” added Elliott.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.