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FREO – India’s First Credit-Led Neobank Is Here

Business Wire India
An innovative digital banking experience that focuses on the unique needs of modern consumers in India and SE Asia with a host of financial products such as a digital savings account, uber-flexible credit line, Credit and EMI Cards, BNPL – all in one place.
With FREO, consumers can seamlessly build their financial health, get credit, save, and spend in smarter ways. 

FREO is a first of its kind, credit-led Neobank in India that is designed to serve the banking needs of millennials in India and Southeast Asia. For many of its offerings, the company has partnered with banks to bring new solutions to its customers.

FREO’s vision is to bring consumers freedom from non-digital financial services and provide simple, intuitive, and smart ways for people to access credit and manage money with ease on their phones. Through this credit-led Neobank, consumers will have access to financial products such as a credit line, credit cards, EMI cards, deposits & savings, buy-now-pay-later, and other financial utilities, in order to help build their credit profiles, borrow flexibly, save easily, and spend smartly.

FREO’s parent company started its operations in India with the launch of MoneyTap in late 2016. Its goal was to make credit flexible, convenient, and affordable, all through an intuitive, category-creating product. Since its launch, MoneyTap, in partnership with established banks and NBFCs, has scaled to become one of India’s largest and most successful consumer Fintech companies. Through MoneyTap, FREO has attracted over 11M users to its ecosystem and disbursed upwards of Rs. 4,000 crore in credit along with issuing 175,000 credit cards (in partnership with RBL Bank). Building on their success in India, the company also launched their credit products in Vietnam with an aim to create a strong international presence.

As part of its growth and expansion plans, the team at FREO endeavors to provide value to customers as a single point of access to a variety of financial products throughout their lives. In early 2021, FREO entered the BNPL space by launching an innovative product that enables QR code-based retail store purchases and online transactions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upturned many aspects of the world in multiple ways and banking has been no different. With a growing demand for convenient and intuitive digital solutions and offline banking becoming crowded and cumbersome, Neobanks have emerged and grown exponentially across the globe. The advantage of Neobanks is in their offering of financial solutions in a completely digital setting using mobile applications, ensuring a smooth and seamless banking experience for users. FREO aims to do this in India, in partnership with other banks and regulated financial institutions, merging the convenience of modern-day solutions with the trust and reliability provided by its partners. Neobanks are able to offer a wide pool of financial products that are easier, quicker, and more compelling, by leveraging state-of-the-art technologies.

Neobanks attract a large number of customers due to the experience they offer, however it becomes difficult to monetize the business without an effective credit engine in place. FREO is a different breed of Neobank thanks to it being credit-led, which means it has a powerful and proven monetization model that enables it to offer customers a completely differentiated suite of products, in a way that hasn’t been successfully done by any other Neobank or consumer fintech company in India so far.

Kunal Varma, Co-Founder, FREO said, “India and SEA, have over a billion digital natives and we understand that the way some of them have accessed financial services in the past will not be the same way in which products of the future will be built. As we embark on this next phase of our journey, we’re proud of the team that we have and are super excited about what lies ahead for us as a Neobank. Please watch out for more product announcements in the weeks to come.”

Renaud Laplanche (Serial Entrepreneur and CEO of two Silicon Valley Unicorns, Advisor to FREO) said, “Globally, there are three types of Neobanks: Payments-led, Experience-led, and Credit-led. The first category makes payments faster, the second makes banking simpler and these two categories already exist in the Indian startup ecosystem. The time is right & the Indian market is ready for the introduction of credit-led Neobanking to make credit more accessible as proven in markets like the USA, Europe, & Brazil. FREO already has a head start in the credit space and with this advantage, they can be the banking platform that caters to the vast middle class while remaining financially sustainable.”

Research has shown that emerging markets like India and South-East Asia are brimming with potential thanks to billions of underbanked young smartphone users who are looking for a banking partner that understands their needs and provides them with relevant financial products. FREO’s vision is to offer them exactly what they are looking for and bring about financial inclusion and accessibility.

Website: www.Freo.Money


Consumer Need
Smooth & fast mobile payments
Fast account opening, easy mobile banking
Access flexible credit, building credit history

Solution Offered
Wallets, UPI QR
App-based banking
1-stop mobile solutions for all banking needs that builds credit

Business Model
Upsell & cross-sell other products
Transaction fees
Interest, transaction income

Global Comparables
Revolut, Chime
Monzo, Simple
Nubank, Upgrade

Additional details on FREO’s Products:

Credit Line
On-demand access to credit (up to Rs. 5 lakhs) with complete flexibility on the amount borrowed & repayments.

Savings Account
A modern digital savings account that offers goal-based savings, spending insights, & a guided journey to build credit health.

Buy Now Pay Later
An app that offers users up to Rs. 3,000 of credit interest-free for up to 30 days. Another offering is point-of-sale credit thanks to partnerships with online & offline vendors.

FREO Cards
A suite of cards with features like auto-EMI & pay later for both online & offline transactions coupled with 175K cards already issued in partnership with RBL Bank.

FREO Utilities:
A useful set of tools that lets users gain insights into their credit score & financial habits, and also manage their daily expenses.

An app that lets users find out their credit score & get insights into it, get advice on credit health, & more, for free.

An app that lets a group of users quickly split & settle a bill among themselves.

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