This Independence Day, we mark our 72nd year of Independence, over 7 decades of freedom from tyranny. Now, more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts at making sure this freedom is ‘for all’.
At CreditVidya, we strive towards financial freedom, the freedom from debt and access to financial opportunities. We realized early on that one of the major hindrances to financial freedom is financial illiteracy, the lack of skills and knowledge to make well-informed money management decisions. Our first product launch, over 6 years ago, the FFR – ‘financial fitness report’, was aimed at educating the Indian borrower on their credit health and improving financial literacy.
Our idea was to simplify and boil down the essentials of a credit score into bite-sized actionable items, a credit report aimed at the masses. We realized that the methods used to teach toddlers (visual learning) could be employed to teach adults about their credit score more effectively.
We developed simple, colour coded visual representations of every element of a credit score. We scored each element that constitutes the credit score separately, such as repayment history, credit utilization, age of credit line, credit mix (secured vs unsecured) and credit enquiries.
We also developed a grading system (A, A+, B, B+ etc) that conveyed necessary information without confusing the learner. The report also gave users personalized advice on how they could get their scores back on track. Over the years the FFR evolved to a comprehensive, personalized, and super-easy-to-use credit report and action plan.
According to reports by KPMG, only 57 percent of India’s digital payment user-base (that use online banking services) are active English users. When faced with this reality, it was imperative that we remove barriers such as proficiency in English to help users understand essential information about their credit health more easily.
In line with our instructional methods, we recently stumbled upon research conducted by UNESCO on early education that suggested that children learn high-level concepts faster in their mother tongue rather than any other language. We decided that the next logical step in making the FFR more accessible was localizing it into vernacular languages.
We strongly believe that speaking the language of the customer will go a long way in building trust and brand loyalty for our clients such as Avanse, Bajaj Finserv, Capital First and Fullerton. It will help customers grasp financial concepts without feeling alienated by the medium of instruction and help banks and lenders serve their clients in tier 3 and rural areas better.
We’re proud to announce that we’ve started off with localization in 10 vernacular languages Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu, powering financial literacy for over 460 mn people in India who speak these languages.
Banks and NBFCs can now leverage the localized FFR to cater to their customers across the country. This will give lenders the additional bandwidth to drive their own financial literacy program compliant with the guidelines and mandate of RBI’s national strategy for financial literacy. It will also help lenders improve the quality of their leads in the long term as well as mitigate the risk of NPAs, cross-sell other products and increase revenues from value-added services.