[App Fridays] Does Xiaomi’s Mi Credit really allow you to get a personal loan instantly?
Earlier this month, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched its digital lending solution, Mi Credit, in India, touting an easy application process for getting personal loans. Upon approval, the users have the option to choose the amount and the tenure of the loan.
The app is available for all Android users and not restricted to only Xiaomi users. The Mi Credit app comes preloaded on all MIUI phones, and can also be downloaded from Google Play Store and GetApps, Xiaomi’s own app store. On Play Store, it has crossed five lakh downloads already with average rating of 4.4 stars.
The smartphone major states that the app is built as the first personal loan choice for aspirational young professionals and millennials. Xiaomi claims that Mi Credit solves most challenges associated with the traditional lending industry with a 100 percent digital experience.
YourStory explored the app, and here is what we think:
Mi Credit is basically a curated marketplace with Xiaomi working with lending partners, primarily NBFCs and fintech companies, such as Aditya Birla Finance Limited, Money View, EarlySalary, ZestMoney, and CreditVidya.
As soon as you download the app, you are asked to give permission for access to your messages, contacts, and locations. If you agree, then you log in via phone number and the app lands you on a clean and clutter-free home screen.
The homepage has three tabs at the bottom: Borrow, Repay, and Profile. And at the top you will find the maximum loan amount you can borrow. Right now, the app does not give out loans that exceed Rs 1 lakh.
Users can also check their credit score instantly on the app, for free, a service which is powered by Experian. When we checked, our score was generated in just one tap.
Mi Credit has been running a pilot in India, and has already disbursed loans amounting to over Rs 28 crore in November 2019. Xiaomi states that over 20 percent of the users has availed the highest amount of loan of Rs 1 lakh.
Currently, Mi Credit services more than 10 states spanning across 1,500 pin codes, and aims to expand its availability to all the pin codes (more than 19,000 in total) by the end of FY2019.
How to get some money, quick
But how easy is it to get a loan on Mi Credit? You click on the ‘Get Now’ button next to the amount on the homepage, and the app takes you to the application page. What follows is a simple form to assess your eligibility for the loan, with details such as date of birth, phone number, email ID, PAN, employment type, and salary/income range. The company states that all user data on Mi Credit is stored securely in encrypted format in India through its cloud partnership with AWS.
The next step is uploading a picture of your PAN card and a government ID for address proof, as well as a selfie. This process is easy, smooth, and quick.
We got the approval immediately for the Rs 1 lakh loan. However, we were informed witin 24 hours that the application was not processed. The message from Xiaomi said that Mi Credit was unable to approve the loan application as the same did not meet the lender’s policy criteria and suggested that we could try again in 15 days.
When you apply for a loan on the app, you can click the amount button at the top to check the approval status too. When we checked, we were informed that our loan application may have been declined due to reasons such as location being currently unserviceable, employment profile not fulfilling the criteria, or for reasons such as history of missing multiple EMIs. However, none of the reasons were applicable to us, and we also had an ‘excellent’ credit score.
However, sticking true to its ‘curated marketplace’ offering, Xiaomi does not disappoint. Upon rejection of application, you can either try again later or ‘check other products’. When you click on options to check other products, the app redirects you to a third-party platform where you can see more loan offers from other platforms, if you need the money urgently. We did not apply for loans on the third-party site.
Yay or nay?
Mi Credit gets a ‘yay’ for a truly paperless experience. In fact, it believed that is one of the easiest loan application apps out there owing to its intuitive interface. The entire process took us just five minutes, as we had our PAN card and a government photo ID handy with us.
But that is of little consequence if you don’t get the amount disbursements as quick as the approval. So, even though the app is really quick, the users might not get the money instantly. Many users of the app seemed to have the same experience, as some reviews on Play Store frowned upon the fact that they haven’t got the money in their account for days despite their loan being approved, while some others called Mi Credit the best app and that they got the money within 10-15 minutes.
This is where a sound customer support experience will come into play and it will be interesting to see how Mi Credit supplements its current provision – an FAQ page and a customer care number.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)