Established in 2018, CRED is a members-only application which facilitates its users with exclusive rewards for paying their credit card bills.
The platform has been established with the purpose of making credit card bill payments easier and to offer the users rewards upon timely payments. The application functions in a simple manner. It requires them to give their phone number to inspect their credit score through Cibil, CRIF and Experian.
If a user’s credit score is 750 or higher, they are granted access to the CRED app or else they are put on the waitlist. The app examines all the credit cards linked to the user’s phone number and adds them to the app.
Every time the user pays their credit card bills they are credited with CRED coins which can be burned in exchange for exclusive partner deals across a variety of lifestyle categories. These coins can then be adopted for claiming rewards via vendors like Ixigo and FreshMenu, as well as others.
“We empower members with visibility into their credit cards, helping them avoid the debt trap and use the credit they have earned in a responsible manner,”
The members are also rewarded with offers like vouchers at more than 1,000 retail outlets from Levi’s or Gap or various online stores like Amazon and Flipkart, and offers on platforms like Zomato and Cult. For every penny extended towards payment through credit cards, the members are rewarded with CRED coins that can be adopted for purchasing vouchers.
The Founder of CRED
CRED was established by Kunal Shah, who interestingly is a philosophy graduate from Mumbai’s Wilson college and does not have any engineering background. He dropped out of MBA from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS).
He has been an advisor to the board of Bennett Coleman & Co Limited, Y Combinator, and Sequoia Capital India and was also the Chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India from 2015-2017.
He is also an active angel investor and has essayed the role of a mentor for many of Asia’s popular startups which include Unacademy, RazorPay, Go-Jek, and Zilingo as well as others.
Kunal’s initial established venture had been PaisaBack, which was a cashback and promotional platform for organized retailers. He later closed down the platform to establish FreeCharge in August 2010 alongside Sandeep Tandon, which was later in 2015, acquired by Snapdeal although the platform continued to operate as an independent entity under his leadership. After he exited the platform in October 2016 it was later acquired by Axis Bank in the month of July, 2017. Finally in 2018, Kunal announced the establishment of CRED.
The Origin of CRED
As highlighted in a Your Story article, after Kunal’s first venture FreeCharge had been sold to Snapdeal back in 2015, he spent a great deal of time travelling and in learning about developed nations. One common point that he noticed in particular was that in these nations there was a high degree of trust extended by the system upon the public. For instance, they had petrol pumps without any attendants or self checkout counters in supermarkets, without any cashiers.
This resulted in him acknowledging the advantages of a frictionless environment i.e an environment in which all costs and restraints relating to transactions are absent. In a LinkedIn post, he had emphasized how the system was trusted by the public as it constantly rewarded them for being dependable and respectable individuals.
Yet here, in the Indian nation, the segment of the public which was dependable, had to pay the price for the acts of others and the absence of transparency and irregularity of information led to lack of trust. He stated how the present model is stringent and left a great degree of scope for confusion and errors which the trustworthy segment of the public does not deserve. This led to the establishment of CRED.