Announcing the launch of Pine Labs' next gen Credit Issuing Platform Credit+

Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs  : Default

By Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs | November 30, 2023

Today, I am proud to unveil our latest offering, Credit+, a cutting-edge tech platform for credit and issuer processing.

We are witnessing a revolution in credit

There is innovation happening in every part of the credit value chain, from the inception of a credit instrument, to the way credit is underwritten and distributed, to even the form factor in which a credit is utilized. A few trends will shape credit in the coming decade:

  • Underlying demand for credit will continue to be exceptionally strong. Credit is a critical engine for the bold growth targets that India and many emerging markets have set. Vast segments of consumers and businesses whose credit needs are underserved today will enter the formal credit economy. In recent years we have seen more than 30M new to credit consumer each year.
    • Credit cards will see steady growth. The cards ecosystem in India has grown from ~80M1 total cards issued in Jan 2023, to ~95M in Oct 2023 - and we are on the cusp of crossing 100M cards. This trend will accelerate as more fintechs, smaller banks, and cobrand partners issue their own cards.
    • Other digital credit will also see innovation. Beyond cards, the aspirations of hundreds of millions of consumers in markets like India with favourable demographics are driving expansion in other forms of revolver credit - including paper financing, EMI options, overdraft accounts, and personal loans.
  • Consumers want greater choice, and personalization of rewards and loyalty around their lives. The explosive growth in cobranded cards is clear proof of this. Applications in the premium cobranded credit space are up nearly 180% YoY2 - pointing both to a greater supply of new cobranded cards, and increased demand for personalized rewards and offerings.
  • RuPay and credit on UPI will provide an invaluable boost to the credit ecosystem, for several reasons:
    • UPI laid the infrastructural foundation for digital payments, through a network of nearly ~300M QR codes around the country3.This will serve as the ‘base layer’ over which credit can be made available - credit distribution costs will be lowered given that ‘acceptance infrastructure’ is taken care of.
    • UPI has also driven a shift in consumer and business behaviour, towards greater acceptance of digital payments. This will lead the way for digital credit to be deployed for ever smaller, daily purchases.

For these trends to unlock the potential for credit innovation and growth, I believe a few challenges will need to be addressed:

  • Credit issuers will want far greater flexibility and agility to craft a compelling value proposition - they will need new tools and will want to work with the right next gen credit platforms and partners to benefit from this shift. Legacy providers today do not have the stack needed for new age use cases.
  • Co brand partners will want the flexibility of owning the customer, and the customer experience, through a robust customer management backend.
  • Regulators will want to ensure that any innovation does not impact banks’ and lenders’ ability to manage core banking platforms, KYC, and risk.
  • Credit program launches, especially those including forms of revolver credit, are complex and often requires many months of negotiation across multiple parties - making each card or credit product launch a complex endeavour.

Credit+ will seamlessly deliver on all these needs.

Credit+ will be the platform of choice for banks, brands, and fintechs in delivering their credit offerings

This foray into credit builds on our market leadership in both prepaid and gift cards (Qwikcilver), and embedded financial services (Setu). A few highlights of our platform:

  • Expert program management: We will take the complexity out of a new credit program launch. Beyond a pureplay TSP role, Pine Labs will be a partner to our customers in conceptualizing, building, and operating their credit and processing programs.
  • Robust tech stack: Our issuing platform already generates over 600M prepaid credentials annually, and it this level of scalability and security that we bring to Credit+.
  • Modern, API first, embedded credit experiences: Through our acquisition of Setu, we have seen first-hand the transformational power of embedded customer journeys. Like payments, we believe the future of credit is embedded, and API-first. We will provide cobrand and fintech partners with flexibility over managing the consumer credit experience, while we work with banks to build a new revenue stream for them.
  • Flexible Rewards: Our configurable rewards and loyalty module will allow issuers to craft imaginative rewards and offers and build market leading customer value propositions.
  • Multiple form factors, support for multiple use cases: We are ready to support physical, digital, and virtual form factors, across credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. Out-of-the-box use cases include cobranded cards, multicurrency cards, and multi-pocket expense cards.
  • Network agnostic: Credit+ is Mastercard and Visa certified, with Amex, RuPay, and other domestic schemes in the pipeline.
  • Acquirer processing capabilities: In addition to issuing processing, the platform will also be acquiring processing ready, with robust terminal, merchant, and lifecycle management modules, as well as support for both online and offline transaction processing across POS, MPOS, and eComm.
  • Proven scale: This launch of Credit+ sets the foundation for processing services for over 90M cards, across customers in 20+ countries in South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. This is enabled in part by strong relationships - our partnership with Mastercard across multiple payment solutions and geographies is one example.

As we invest in Credit+, I am also pleased to announce the opening of our newest office location in Pune - a city known for its talent in credit and issuer processing. We couldn’t be more excited to take this platform to the world.

Join us in this journey to help build the future of credit!

(The blog post is authored by Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs)