Realizing benefits of Digital Payment

 Cashless Cities: Realizing benefits of Digital Payment – A report by VISA & Roubini ThoughtLab

VISA in collaboration with Roubini ThoughLab, a New York based research firm published an intriguing report on Cashless Cities & respective benefits of Digital Payment.The report highlights the fact that, a large proportion of the global population and its economic activity is accounted for by cities, supported by the fact that today, over half of the world population lives in cities and over 80% of global economic activity takes place in cities.

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The report categorizes the cities as per following Stages of Digital maturity:-

Cash CentricDigitally Transforming – Digitally Mature – Digitally Advanced – Digital Leader

Indian cities (Bangalore & Delhi) were found to have moderate adoption readiness for Digital payments whereas (Mumbai) showed low digital payment usage.In recognition of this opportunity, a number of cities globally have introduced smart city initiatives, and are utilizing a wide range of digital technologies to improve the lives of their residents. Smart city initiatives and supporting policies could potentially become critical pathways for governments seeking to foster economic growth, improve safety, attract businesses and provide better services to their citizens.

Digital payments technology is a crucial enabler of smart cities, and could contribute significant benefits to consumers, businesses, governments and economies. Since digital payments are a means to an end, the scale of benefit they bring has not been broadly understood or studied.

The report highlighted the net benefits associated with adopting digital payments and does so at the city-level. The assessment was carried out for 100 cities across 80 countries, segmented by stage of digital maturity, with these cities modeled to an “achievable cashless scenario”.

This scenario is defined as the entire population moving to digital payment usage equal to the top 10% of the users in that city today. The findings provide compelling support for greater adoption of digital payments.

The report estimates that increasing digital payments across the 100 cities could result in total direct net benefits of US$470 billion per year. On average, these net benefits represent slightly over 3% of a city’s current GDP.

Some major findings from the analysis contained in the report include:

Consumers across the 100 cities currently spend an average of 32 hours a year on cash-related payment activities. Greater adoption of digital payments is estimated to reduce this figure to 24 hours a year, saving consumers in the 100 cities an average of over $126 million per year.

Digital payments usage, the report projects that total net benefits to businesses across all 100 cities could amount to over $312 billion per year after transitioning to an achievable level of cashless activity.

The report provides support that cities cannot reach their full potential without also having a robust digital payment system. Digital payments, and the policy and industry measures that support them, mean urban consumers spend less time waiting in banking, transit and retail lines, make fewer trips to expen­sive check-cashing venues, and experience lower overall fees associated with financial transactions. A city’s businesses benefit when going cashless from not just greater labor efficiencies and lower direct costs, but also from increased revenue.

This report further bolsters the importance of adopting Digital Payments and the significant impacts that they will have on the economic & societal growth of countries.

 ( *Source : Cashless Cities by  Roubini ThoughtLab & VISA )


NeoGrowth releases its Social Impact Report for FY 2017

NeoGrowth’ s 2017 Social Impact Report explores and reaffirms our core vision of being an enabler in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) ecosystem. This year, we explored NeoGrowth’s support to diversity,social inclusion and entrepreneurial support in testing times for business environment. We also continue our review to reaffirm NeoGrowth’ s support for first generation entrepreneurs, financial inclusion, job creation and encouragement to women entrepreneurs.

NeoGrowth evaluated the Social Impact caused by its lending activity by conducting customer surveys and interviews. This activity was done by a third party agency who conducts an independent survey on a random sample basis, chosen by them.

The survey revealed a strong trend of improvement in CIBIL scores of participants,especially for those merchants who were exposed to repeat lending, thereby enhancing their creditworthiness and enabling them to access mainstream finance.

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36% of the merchants reviewed witnessed an improvement in their credit scores thereby enabling them to integrate into the formal banking system with an improved borrower profile.

Though year 2016-17 was very challenging year for SME segments cause of demonetization and other tax legislation, 41% of the merchants assessed had renewed the loans taken from NeoGrowth, a direct indication of their positive outlook for the future.


NeoGrowth believes in giving wings to entrepreneurs with potential to make their dreams a reality.


NeoGrowth expands its fintech Footprint

NeoGrowth continuing on its journey of providing capital to retailers for business growth has opened nine new branches across India. These fully functional & operational branches have brought the ease of getting business finance to the door-steps of retailers at Lucknow, Vijayawada, Surat, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Madurai, Ludhiana, Baroda and Mysore.


With this NeoGrowth now has a presence in nineteen major cities across India and is a step closer to achieving its objective of enabling small businesses to access finance in a quick and easy manner.

The country is witnessing a surge in Digitization and various day to day activities, right from as basic as paying utility bills to financial transactions involving payments made for inventory purchase, business expansion, renovation etc. are all being made in a matter of minutes using various digital payment mediums. Thus, it is to no surprise that the Indian consumers as well as businesses are adopting themselves more & more towards this digital revolution.
NeoGrowth aims at contributing towards this digital revolution in its own humble and proficient manner, having created a niche in the lending space by helping small and medium sized retailers, restaurants, beauty salons, automobile dealers and fuel stations.

The NeoGrowth loan product is very different from a typical bank loan. NeoGrowth has done away with the necessity of the merchant to visit the lender’s location at any stage. All the stages involved from loan application to disbursement are streamlined and powered by technology & manpower support. This helps in saving crucial time for business owners and provides them with ease and assurance of availing quick finance.
With the addition of these new cities in its operational domain, NeoGrowth business loans are now available to a wider demography of retailers who can now experience the digital growth in its truer sense and benefit from the same.

NeoGrowth at National Garment Fair 2017

The 65th National Garment Fair organized by the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) was held at Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai from 10th July to 12th July. This being one of the largest event in India for Garment Industry witnessed over 800 exhibitors comprising of retailers, distributers and suppliers from the garment sector.

img_27_7_17_3NeoGrowth was present at the exhibitor booth and generated an encouraging response for availing the facility of business finance, both from the garment retailers who came as visitors, as well as the exhibitors who were pre-dominantly garment distributors. This 3 day event saw a footfall of more than 20,000 visitors from across India.


This event helped NeoGrowth in having a close and personal interaction with the retailers and provided an opportunity to brief them about the ease and benefit of availing NeoGrowth loans using which they can boost their business.


The keen interest in unique features like technology enabled processing, door-step service and minimum documentation of NeoGrowth loan was fuelled by that fact that many of these retailers required quick finance to add new garment stocks at their outlets in order to gear up for the upcoming festive season in India. These enquiries were promptly addressed by the NeoGrowth team present at the event and all assistance for the same was provided to retailers during the event.


The participation in events like these has helped NeoGrowth in promoting its unique tech & touch model to the retailers and also provides the retailers with an opportunity to grow their business by availing financial assistance from NeoGrowth.

NeoGrowth co-sponsors IMC Conference

The Indian Merchant Chamber (IMC) organized its Banking and Financial Services conference on ‘Catalyzing MSME Entrepreneurship in India’ on 22nd June 2017 at Mumbai, where NeoGrowth was one of the co-sponsors.

This daylong conference focused on key issues being faced by Indian entrepreneurs – Capital, Technology and Policy wherein experts presented their views on these relevant issues.

4_7_17The inaugural speech for the conference was given by Mr. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Finance, Government of India. Also present as key invitees of the conference were Mr. Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Mr. Pravin Gordhan, Former Finance Minister, South Africa, Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director (India), World Bank.



KPMG India were the knowledge partners for the conference and released their research paper on SME Financing. The conference was spread over three sessions, each covering a key issue.

Mr. Sanjoy Shome, (COO – NeoGrowth) was a panelist during the session on how the need for Capital can be addressed best for MSME’s. He showered light on how the amalgamation of analytics, technology and Digital mediums is important to build an efficient and robust architecture for MSME financing.


4_7_17_3 Mr. P. Ravindra (Specialist – Compliance, internal audit & spcl. projects, NeoGrowth) and Mr. Yogesh Nakhwa, (VP-Operations & Business Excellence, NeoGrowth) were the delegates that represented NeoGrowth at this conference.

The conference highlighted key indicators which will help in the growth of SME sector like policy changes that can help underwrite finance for industry segments that are not completely organized. How factors like data around Inventory management, analysis on spends happening on a merchant’s outlet etc. can be additional tools that can be used to underwrite finance in addition to the traditional methods of bank statements, collaterals etc. The need for resolute adoption of technology and digital mediums to help smoothen the process of financing for MSME’s were a highlight of the conference.

NeoGrowth is already on the path to address and implement these factors with its initiatives like merchant portal, Sales App that will help in quick financing for MSME’s. The adoption of Digital medium to reach out to prospect customers is a step closer towards financing them.

NeoGrowth continues its quest of bringing customer delight in the Fintech domain by working closely with all the stakeholders that can make the life of an end consumer better & making the process of doing business easy for them by addressing the key issues of obtaining finance.

NeoGrowth at Metro – Cash & Carry

img001NeoGrowth initiated a co-branded customer engagement activity at Metro Cash & Carry, Bangalore. Metro Cash & Carry is one of India’s leading business to business wholesaler. It has 23 operational centers in India and presence in Europe, Africa as well as other Asian countries. METRO Cash & Carry India’s core customers include small retailers and kirana stores, hotels, restaurants and caterers, corporates, SMEs, all types of offices, companies and institutions, as well as self-employed professionals.


img003NeoGrowth undertook a month long activity at the Yeshwantpur outlet of Metro Cash & Carry. This is the flagship store of Metro and is witness to over 1 lakh footfalls over a month. Basis these facts , NeoGrowth was present in a grand scale at the outlet and had installed an entry arch , cash tills along with a Kiosk manned by NeoGrowth representatives at the store.


img002This month long activity helped NeoGrowth in having a one to one interaction with the retailers and provided an opportunity where we briefed them about the unique facility of NeoGrowth loans. The features like automatic repayment & Min. documentation requirement of NeoGrowth loans were a major draw for the visitors and saw the generation of lot of enquiries for business loan. NeoGrowth also funded couple of loan requirements at the store during the course of this activity.

There were many retailers who were new to the concept of a Point of Sale (PoS) machine and showed interest in availing the same, a service which is also addresses by NeoGrowth.

The organization of events like these has helped NeoGrowth in promoting its unique tech & touch model to the retailers and also provides the retailers with an opportunity to grow their business by availing financial assistance from NeoGrowth.

Impact of Demonetisation on Digital Lending Industry

The small and medium enterprise (SME) lending market in India is worth almost $300 billion today and the digital lending segment constitutes 10% of it, approximately $30 billion*. Post-Demonetization in 2017- 2018, Digital lending industry is set to be the growth driver in the SME lending segment, constituting more than 10% of the ever-increasing SME lending market in India.


The rapid embrace of digital payments followed by the crackdown on cash transactions post demonetisation, is now set to greatly benefit an allied industry: Digital Lending Industry. Digital Payment companies such as PayTM did emerged as the immediate winners post the government’s decision to scrap the high-value banknotes and push for cashless transactions on 9th of November 2016. Then, the Digital lending firms saw a temporary slowdown in borrowings, but industry executives and experts believe that this industry is there to stay and benefit the most. **

Hence, before drawings conclusions on the effects of Demonetisation on the Digital Lending Industry’s, some major reasons contributing to the same are highlighted below:
(A) The total number of card transactions over point-of-sale (POS) saw a whopping increment***


The total number of card transactions at POS saw a whooping monthly growth of 46% in November 2016 and 59% in December 2016. This is majorly because of the monthly 68% increase and 76% increase in number of debit card transaction at POS in November 2016 and December 2016 respectively. Whereas, the number of credit card transactions at POS also saw a nominal monthly increase in 10% and 19% thereon in November 2016 and December 2016 respectively.

The total number of card transactions at POS post demonetisation in the month of March 2017 is 64% higher than the pre demonetisation in the month of October 2016, observing a 104% growth YOY. Similarly, the number of debit card transactions at POS post demonetisation in the month of March 2017 is a whopping 93% higher than the pre demonetisation in the month of October 2016, again observing a 140% growth YOY. Also, the number of credit card transactions at POS post demonetisation in the month of March 2017 is 20% higher than the pre demonetisation in the month of October 2016, observing a 47% growth YOY. The amount of cards transaction follows a very similar trend with a large uptick in the debit card and a nominal uptick in credit card.

The card transactions at POS machine saw a very encouraging growth, especially for digital lenders who lend against future card transactions at POS.

(B) Digital payments Infrastructure (POS Installation) continues to grow at a steady pace***

point of sale


The installation of POS machine continues to be on rise as per the government mandated installation of 10 lakhs new POS machines by March. An average of 11% rise in the POS machine can be observed.

Effects on the Digital Lending Industry:

1. Reducing risk via massive increase in digital data points: Digital footprints increase as customers are making more purchases through digital wallets or credit and debit cards. This gives rich data points and it will help digital lending players give customised small-ticket loans to individuals or businesses instead of generic ones. This will bring down the risks, especially associated to unsecured loans.

2. Increasing interest on alliances from big banks: Digital Lending firms are seeing increased interest from banks and NBFCs, who are keen on tapping digital data points. For example, IDFC Bank, Yes bank and RBL bank has tied up with other digital lending players. ****

3. Expected higher disbursals post demonetisation: Owing to the higher digital footprint resulted due to increased card transactions at POS and high growth of other digital payments solutions, the digital lending business is set to grow multi fold in India.

“The biggest near-term beneficiary is payments but I think in the next 12-18 months there will be a significant jump in digital lending,” said Bala Srinivasa, partner at venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. ****

4. Big Bet on MCA Business through POS: The card transactions at POS machine saw a very encouraging growth during demonetisation as well as post demonetization (as shown before). Businesses build on loan recovery through POS terminals are to watch out for, as the transaction acumen via POS has received a great boost.

5. Venturing into unchartered territories: Digital Lending firms are partnering with new digital payment solutions like Mobile Wallets, UPI, Aadhar based payments etc, to expand their acceptance ecosystem. These new digital payment solutions are supposedly the future of the payment industry and hence such partnerships are of vital importance.

*Source: Financial Express – “Demonetisation impact” dated January 11, 2017
** Source: TOI- “Digital lending start-ups await their day in the sun” dated December 6, 2016
***Source: RBI Data
**** Source: ET- “Digital lending start-ups feel the heat after demonetisation” dated December 06, 2016

NeoGrowth Strategic Leadership Meet – 2017


With the objective of conceptualising and formulating the most optimal path to achieve the organisational goals, NeoGrowth held its Strategic Leadership Meet on the 17th & 18th of March at Goa, India.

The scenic town saw the coming together of all the key members of various cross functional teams at NeoGrowth. This was for the purpose of carving out the most effective method towards achieving the common business goal.

The two day event was divided into brainstorming sessions on Day 1 and recreational team bonding activities on Day 2.


Day 1 saw the NeoGrowth employees organized into 4 different teams, each team been given a specific project beforehand to address under the guidance of their mentors from senior management. The projects had been carefully handed over to the teams by the top management and covered agendas like Seamless Onboarding Experience, Productivity Enhancement, Asset Quality Enhancement & Direct Business Growth which are of utmost importance to NeoGrowth’s vision. All the ideas & plan presented were discussed in detail by the the members present and key actionable items identified for each of the projects.


The evening ended with the “NeoChat Session”, an interactive platform where all theemployees of NeoGrowth could exchange thoughts, ideas, queries with Mr. PK Khaitan, Managing Director – NeoGrowth.

The day 2 saw team bonding initiatives clubbed with activities like sailing and kayaking, which were thoroughly enjoyed by all the participants. This two day event ended with a formal team lunch, with the employees returning to their respective NeoGrowth offices pan-India, with renewed vigor and vision towards accomplishing the NeoGrowth objective in the days to come.

NeoGrowth participation in “IPRC Annual Meet”


The Institute of Payment Risk Council (IPRC) held its Annual Event on 22nd & 23rd February 2017 at Radisson Blu Resort at Alibaug, near Mumbai.

IPRC, comprising of professionals from various private & public sector banks & other financial Institutions has been informally existing as the Payment Cards Risk Task Force since over 15 years. This informal, collaborative body enabled Card Issuing & Acquiring Banks to jointly pool their intelligence & resources together to effectively combat Payment Cards Fraud since early 2000.

Today, IPRC has expanded to cover not only Card Crimes, but to also other banking frauds, through overarching intercession with other ecosystem players such as Payment Processors & Telecom operators, Merchants, Digital Wallet Operators, apartfrom Card Networks such as MasterCard, Visa, NPCI & American Express etc.

DSC_0716The Annual meet spread over two days, witnessed more than 65 participants with couple of banks from Sri Lanka & Bangladesh also joining in. The first day of the meet was reserved strictly for IPRC Event, whereas day second was earmarked for the Visa Security Summit.

Mr. P. Ravindra (Specialist – Compliance, NeoGrowth), was invited along with Mr. Niranjan Upadhye, (Head – e Payments, NeoGrowth) to the IPRC annual meet. Mr Niranjan was also Speaker & Moderator of a panel discussion. Mr. P. Ravindra was called upon by the Chairman of IPRC, Mr. Shailesh Verma- SVP & Head-FCMD at Axis Bank to light the lamp, marking the start of the annual meet. Mr. Niranjan Upadhye, gave a presentation on the subject “What Merchants can do to make e-Payments safer”. Niranjan during the day also moderated a panel discussion on the subject “Digital Movement: Challenges & Mitigation” where eminent panelists from Visa, DBS India & MRL Posnet shared their perspectives to the key questions posed to them. Both of these were very well received.


The first day of the event concluded with a vote of thanks given by Mr. P. Ravindra. This 2 day event, saw participation by many eminent speakers and panelists like Mr. G.Padmanabhan, former Executive Director of the RBI & currently the Nonexecutive Chairman of Bank of India and Senior Advisor (VISA) , Ms. Ellen Richey – Vice Chairman- Risk & Public Policy at VISA, USA , Mr. Joe Cunnigham- the Regional Head- Risk Services ,VISA to name a few. Officials of NPCI, apart from senior officers at M/s FICO, M/s ACI & M/s Smokescreen Technologies were also present during the event.

These officials were some of the key speakers on different subjects with “Management of Risk in the Ecosystem” being the core focus theme. NeoGrowth continues its active involvement in the Fintech domain by working closely with all the stakeholders that can make the life of an end consumer better & easier.

NeoGrowth features in India’s best 35 Fintech Companies

(Excerpts from the write-up in The Smart CEO magazine)

the_smart  NeoGrowth set up in the year 2013 was built on an important insight that traditional underwriting methods in India exclude more than 50 per cent of credit worthy small and medium enterprises. Hence, NeoGrowth does digital lending to consumer facing small business enterprises by providing business loans repaid by card receivables, e-commerce sales and other non-cash payments. “More than half of the loans by NeoGrowth are less than Rs.1 million and greater than 80 per cent of loans have been given to proprietorship and partnership firms,” says Mr. PK Khaitan (PK), Managing Director of NeoGrowth.

The company’s non-traditional business model identifies and serves credit-worthy merchants, who otherwise get excluded by traditional underwriting methods.

Unique solutions

While the company offers credit to the small business enterprises, it has its own filters to assess their credit worthiness. Some methods it uses are its unique customer acquisition channels (direct agents, referral Agents and telesales), new payment datasets for credit assessment, non-traditional scoring, and dynamic repayment and automated collections to identify and serve these potential credit-worthy merchants. In fact, it has enabled improvement in credit history, financial inclusion, encouraged entrepreneurship and business growth for many of its customers.

Filling the gaps


The NeoGrowth team believes that there is inadequate credit footprint and financial history for a customer and, hence, banks face a tough time in credit assessment. Therefore, the company uses alternative data for credit assessment. This apart, there is limited working capital fund with strict repayment schedule and to counter this, the company came out with automated collections based on business performance. Finally, traditional banks have lengthy processes with stringent documentation. Daunted by this lengthy and cumbersome process, NeoGrowth came up minimal documentation with doorstep service and quick funds. “The digital payment space is bigger than what we imagined,” says PK. The current environment has so many data sources (online media, offline datasets) and interfaces in place. India is going digital through initiatives like India Stack, Unified Payments Interface and there are Government policies for Digital India, Cashless Society, make in India, Start-Up India etc. “All this means a very large market opportunity. NeoGrowth is looking at leading this market in India,” adds the founder. But all these come with its own set of challenges. The biggest is getting your customer on-boarded with the idea of digital lending. Since, the concept is new in India, the first onboarding stage is the most crucial stage. “Hence the cost of customer acquisition must be kept minimal to scale the business,” says PK. NeoGrowth’ marketing strategy revolve around digital marketing initiatives to reach its consumer segment. It does campaigns integrated with its traditional channel to have a broader but relevant visibility. “We engage with channel partners at different levels to promote NeoGrowth as an innovator in SME digital lending space. We do SEO, SEM and have a responsive website to maximize our reach,” adds PK. With its marketing strategies in place, the company aims to be a niche player in the digital lending space over the next few years. “We want to be the leader in terms of market share in digital lending. To achieve this, we are building a sustainable competitive advantage around achieving scale, favourable unit economics, and superior customer experience and eliminating balance sheet friction,” said PK on a concluding note.

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