Innovation Name: bKash Loan
Category: Best Innovation-Finance (Innovation in Other Financial Institution
Company: Bkash Limited
The content of this case study was written by the representatives of Bkash
bKash, in collaboration with ANT Financial (Technology partner) and City Bank (Financing partner) has started offering a first-of-its-kind Digital Nano Loan that will enable customers to request and receive loans instantly through bKash. The Digital Nano Loan allows customers to take instant digital loan at any time without any hassle of loan application, documentation or physical presence. The eligible customers can avail loans up to BDT 20,000 in just a few seconds using their bKash app. The customer is provided with the ability to pay the loan over a period of 3 months (using auto-deduction from bKash balance) or any time before then. This initiative has been launched for the first time in Bangladesh with the approval of Bangladesh Bank. This service aims to facilitate and expand financial access to the unbanked population and contribute towards the journey of financial inclusion. The Digital Nano Loan will bring impactful changes to micro-entrepreneurs, marginalized people, students or absolutely anyone to meet their emergency personal or business needs.
bKash has taken the initiative to bridge the gap between the financial institutions and the customers by bringing in a loan product at the fingertips of the customers. The Digital Nano Loan product aims to bring in financial inclusion by,
- Extending credit facility to the underserved and unbanked population who do not possibly receive credit from the traditional financial channel,
- Providing convenience in availing and repaying loans by offering an easy, simple and intuitive user experience,
- Offering a loan marketplace for the financial institutions so that customers can choose their best suitable loan offer from multiple types of loan offers,
- Creating a habit among the people of taking and repaying loans from the formal banking channel and reducing the impact of borrowing from the informal channel (i.e. loan sharks).
The idea is to provide instant digital loan with an easy-to-use experience to the bKash customers after assessing customers’ risk using AI based risk assessment engine. Instead of depending on collateral to minimize the credit risk, bKash envisions to depend on its customers’ transactional data to assess the risk and provide loans. As 57 million+ people use bKash, it can reach more eligible customers with a lending product than any other financial services in the country and offer a convenient, scalable and sustainable financing solution to its customers.
Digitally integrated solution: Digital Nano loan is an integrated digital solution where:
- bKash works as the digital channel for customer onboarding, loan disbursement and loan repayment.
- City Bank (financial partner) works as the financing entity who provides the loan to the customers.
- ANT financial (technology partner) provides the advisory and technology support for Credit Risk Assessment to offer the loan service to bKash’s customers.
Credit Risk Management
Data driven risk assessment framework has been designed with the latest AI based solution to assess the credit risk of the bKash customers before determining the loan eligibility of the customers.
The Digital Nano Loan product is a first of its kind product in the country with a promise to create immense value in terms of financial inclusion:
- The digital Nano loan enables the underserved and unbanked population to avail credit from the financial institution at a low rate offered by banks and NBFIs.
- Digital Nano loan fulfills the need of small ticket Nano loans (up to BDT 20,000) with utmost ease in availing the loan. The borrowing experience is digital, easy to use and takes only a few seconds.
- A huge base of bKash customers gets instant access to credit by using the bKash App. Customers do not require any submission of documents, collateral or any physical interaction with the financial institution to get credit. bKash customers get access to formal credit at remote locations where such facilities may not be available.
- The Digital Nano Loan caters to an untapped need of emergency and instant funding for any personal or business use of bKash customers.
- The convenience of getting instant loan allows individuals and businesses to fulfill their need immediately when required, without stopping any significant work or business operation, which contributes to the overall economy in a positive way.
- The Digital Nano Loan product creates a formal channel for instant Nano size credit, reducing dependency on and exploitation of the informal lending channels (i.e. loan sharks, Mohajon etc.)
Result and Impact
The Digital Nano Loan was launched recently with an eligible customer base based on the financial institution’s credit policy. Thus, it is quite early to comment on the realized impact of the product. Since its commercial launch on December 15, 2021, in 40 days, bKash has disbursed BDT 43.24 million to 11,656 customers (~6% of eligible customer base).
The success of the product depends on how many unbanked and underserved people will avail the loans repeatedly, repay the loans in a timely manner, and what impact the loan product will make in fulfilling the need of emergency instant funding.