Electronics major Samsung on Thursday launched 'Samsung Finance+', a digital lending platform that will offer consumers finance options to buy its Galaxy smartphones.
The move assumes significance ahead of the festive season, where handset makers are lining up a slew of devices to woo customers.
Samsung Finance+, which will connect financial institutions and dealers, will be available at over 5,000 stores in 30 cities across the country. This will be extended to 10,000 outlets in 100 cities by the end of 2019.
"In the western world, 80 per cent of phones are financed, including cases where data, calling and phone are bundled and offered for a monthly payment. In India, about 15-18 per cent phones have any kind of financing," Samsung India Senior Vice President (Mobile Business) Mohandeep Singh told PTI.
Around 450 million adults in India don't have a credit history and so finance options for them are minimal, he added.
"The intention is to make it easier for customers to get finance for a device that they want to buy," he noted.
To begin with, Samsung has partnered DMI Finance and is in discussions to bring more financial institutions on board.
Singh said various offers will be available for users, including zero per cent EMI, as being offered at various offline and online channels.
He explained that consumers buying a Galaxy smartphone at any one of the 5,000 stores equipped with Samsung Finance+ platform can opt for easy finance on their smartphones.
They log into the in-store Samsung Finance+ application - which has been designed and developed by the company's R&D unit in Bengaluru - and fill in their details for KYC verification and credit scoring. Following this, they will get an offer screen on various Galaxy smartphones.
"We are starting with 5,000 stores in 30 cities, and will be extended to 10,000 outlets in 100 cities by the end of 2019," he added.
Singh said this will also help offline retailers reach out to more customers as many prospective buyers shop online to use the financing options available.
Talking about the festive season, Singh said the period usually sees 20-25 per cent higher sale than usual business days.
"Festive season is always strong and we feel it will be good this year too. We are geared up for it. Our growth will be ahead of the market," he said.