Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Slice: Inventing future of finance for young Indians

Today we speak to Rajan Bajaj, Founder & CEO of Slice, to understand how slice is redesigning the future of the finance industry through its unique product & services.

Read the complete interview here:

TechGraph: How do you see ‘slice’ stand out from other big players, who are already in this business?

Rajan Bajaj: The slice card is an alternative to traditional credit cards, designed exclusively for young Indians. The average age of slice’s customers is 23-24, which differentiates us from the rest. We understand the risk and demand profile of this young customer and know how to help them navigate through their finances. At present, there is no other solution at a slice’s scale in the market that can cater to the needs of this generation in a transparent and scalable manner. 

We use technology and design to bring fair and simple financial products to a generation that is just entering the world of financial independence. We offer a host of payment and credit products for our young customers ranging from slice cards, no-cost EMI vouchers, and emergency cash loans. What differentiates it is that the slice card is a completely zero-fee card with no hidden charges or annual fees. The app is highly interactive and intuitive to use and helps this consumer truly understand and demystify the complexities of traditional banking. Our customers visit our app 12-15 times a month, a very high value when compared to any other mobile banking app.

In India, Millennial and GenZ, despite being pitted as the biggest customer of credit solutions, make less than 20% of a bank’s total customers. The entire process to get a card has also been fairly complex, leading to complaints and anxiety about using the product – leaving the Indian youth with limited access to credit products and lower credit scores than their international peers. slice is sharply focused on becoming the go-to financial product for this segment. 

TechGraph: What are your most unique services?

Rajan Bajaj: Slice is designed exclusively for youngsters who are seeking new-age financial experiences. We use technology and design to bring fair and simple financial products to a generation that is just entering the world of financial independence. We offer a host of payment and credit products for our young customers ranging from slice cards, no-cost EMI vouchers, and emergency cash loans. 

Our flagship product is the ‘slice card’, which is an alternative to traditional credit cards. This payment card comes with a pre-approved credit line, in partnership with Visa, designed exclusively for customers under the age of 30 including young professionals, gig workers, freelancers, startup employees, and graduates. What differentiates it is that the slice card is a completely zero-fee card with no hidden charges or annual fees, unlike traditional credit offerings in the market. Our customers can literally use the product for free for life if they follow a monthly repayment plan.

In addition to this, the slice app is designed to be highly interactive, intuitive, and relatable to a youngster – helping them truly understand and demystify the complexities of traditional banking. Through the slice app, one can have complete control of their card – check their expenses and repayment schedule. The app also offers real-time insights & infographics on where a customer is spending the most, enabling young customers to keep a check on their spending and curb unnecessary expenses. 

Education and advocacy is a big part of slice’s offerings. The idea is to empower young adults with access to financial products and at the same time build financial discipline early on. Lack of financial history and poor credit history makes it hard for banks to approve loans. 

We understand these challenges and educate our customers on a timely basis on the importance of repayment and building a good credit history. For example, we are one of the only solutions in the market that actually gives guaranteed rewards and cashback to its customers on timely monthly repayments, But we do this to genuinely help youngsters inculcate good financial behavior for life. Over 2 lakh youngsters in India today have been able to build good CIBIL scores because of a slice.

TechGraph: What does slice look like these days?

Rajan Bajaj: With 300,000 customers and close to 800,000 on the waitlist, today slice is a market leader and has emerged as a preferred card of choice for gen z and millennials across 30 major cities in India. 60% of our customers are young working professionals, including freelancers and small business owners. We have one of the highest NPS in the industry of 70+, much higher than banks, because of which most of our customer acquisition happens through referrals and word-of-mouth. What gives us the most joy is that today we are the primary card for our customers. Not only do we have their highest wallet share among all financial products they use, but they also rely on us to manage daily, necessary expenses.

TechGraph: How did you come up with a ‘slice card’?

Rajan Bajaj: My personal experiences have been a big inspiration. We started as a laptop and smartphone EMI financing business for college students because my personal experience through my college years was that, despite having 3 scholarships while studying, I couldn’t afford to get a smartphone till I got my first job. From there we kept evolving. I wanted to build a great product for our customers that’s very important in their lives. And that’s when I realized that a ‘slice card’ is a great opportunity especially for young people who don’t get a great experience from banks today. Our goal at slice is to enable this generation to take the right steps into financial freedom and to give them a complete VIP experience while doing so.

TechGraph: What is the future of digital payments business in the Indian marketplace?

Rajan Bajaj: One of the biggest opportunities for digital payments lies in credit solutions for the youth. There are around 5 million first time credit users every year who have no access to credit products designed specifically for them that are relatable and simple to use. Only 11%t of credit-active youth own some form of a ‘pay later’ card in India vs. countries like Canada & Hong Kong that have a penetration rate of almost 90 percent. This gives us an opportunity to play a significant role in filling the need gap. 

TechGraph: The past few months have been challenging for businesses. How did you deal with this?

Rajan Bajaj: The pandemic combined with the lockdown was definitely an uncertain period for all businesses alike. However, 2020 was a very good year for slice business-wise. Starting September, we saw a major revival in spending, and all in all, we grew by 125% last year. We partnered with Visa and launched our brand new slice visa cards. In addition to this, 25% of our total workforce was hired during the pandemic, completely virtually, including some key leadership positions like our CFO, head of collections, head of design among others.

TechGraph: Are there any new exciting developments you are currently working on?

Rajan Bajaj: We are strengthening our team, especially product and tech, and are planning to introduce some new and exciting features in the coming months. 

TechGraph: What is the roadmap for slice going forward?

Rajan Bajaj: Slice is inventing the future of finance for young Indians, who want to understand and relate to financial products just like they would with Snapchat and Instagram. Our focus for the coming few years will be on introducing this generation to a world of financial freedom and staying with them through their lifespan through periodical introductions of new products and solutions that cater to their evolving needs. As the segment grows, the product lines will simultaneously grow to meet the needs of the customers.  

a) We plan on reaching 1 million customers in the next 12-15 months. 

b) There is a major focus on strengthening our workforce – we plan on doubling our employee strength in the next year with an exceptional focus on engineering, product, and design roles. 

c) We are expanding to deeper parts of India. We will soon be available in over 50 cities. 

d) We are also going to introduce some path-breaking additions to our products to enhance the banking experience of youngsters. These will be UPI-based as well as rewards-centric. 

Ads

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More