Top money lending apps, and how they work

These top money lending apps help people to obtain quick loans using their smartphones.

Prajeet Nair Feb 13th 2018

What will you do if you have an emergency and you need some quick money? Well in my case I would take my phone and after uploading few documents, I will have money in my account within 15 minutes. Wondering how?

Well, welcome to the world of money lending apps, which are constantly growing in number and volume of business. These instant loan providers make it more luring with attractive interest rates.

In terms of loan growth rate, India is positioned fifth among the G20 nations. In 2014, more than 400 million people borrowed money in India. However, only one in seven loan applications were approved for a formal loan in India.

Current credit system, with its drawbacks, is keeping millions of loan seekers from getting their applications approved. What is worse, a large number of Indians are applying for loans to meet their emergency financial needs, but fail to qualify with the traditional banks (whether it is student loans, home loans or medical loans). However, at this crucial time, these money lending apps are helping a major number of people to gain loans.

These money lending apps have been there for a while now. However, it is interesting to see how the business model for these apps works. Here is a brief report on the top apps and their business model.

1) EarlySalary:

No. of downloads: 500,000
Platform: Android /

EarlySalary is India’s first FinTech start-up to offer salary advances and instant cash loans on a mobile app. The app recently announced its series B funding of Rs 100 crores led by Eight Roads Ventures India.

The app already have existing investors like IDG Ventures India, Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd. (DHFL) and seed investor Ashok Agarwal, who also participated in the round.

Founded by Akshay Mehrotra and Ashish Goyal, the mobile app allows salaried individuals to avail instant loans for an average tenure of 30 days or till the next salary cycle.

These loans are similar to salary advances or credit card cash withdrawals, empowering consumers with ready cash when it is most needed. The company conducts prudent risk assessment by leveraging social profiling to go beyond financial underwriting.

Initially operating in 8 metros, EarlySalary is now catering to working professionals in 15 cities across India and the app has had over 1.4 million customer downloads.

The app is now also working on introducing multiple products like line of credit functionality, EMIs and other products focused towards gaining attention of young working professionals with credit needs.


2) Kissht

No. of downloads: 100,000
Platform: Android /

The new-age fintech start-up enables instant seamless credit for consumers who otherwise do not get credit from traditional lenders. It offers pre-approved credit to customers in the form of EMI card, which can be used across partnered merchants to make purchases at digital points of sale, both online and at physical stores.

Founded in 2015, Kissht is a Mumbai-based fintech start-up. It raised $10 Mn funding in Nov 2017 in a round led by Chinese investment conglomerate, Fosun International. This app had also secured $2 Mn earlier in 2017 from Hyderabad-based early-stage venture capital firms Endiya Partners and Ventureast. The founder and the current CEO Krishnan is IIT Delhi graduate, and an MBA in strategy and finance from the Yale School of Management.

Digital EMI card offered by Kissht is another powerful tool for the customer for all the financial needs. 400,000 digital EMI cards are already issued, which has acceptance at 50+ online portals and 2000+ offline points of sale.

The app has also partnered with Carat Lane, Wonderchef, Prestige, Gitanjali Jewels, Blue Star, EXIDE, Standard Chartered, SBI Card, Intex, etc. to name a few.

The app recently launched its own in-house NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) and has also tied up with NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited), NPCI (National Payment Corporation Of India), and eMudhra (a certifying authority licensed by Controller of Certifying Authorities, under Government of India). These platform enhancements will enable extremely swift loan sourcing and closure.


3) Shubh Loans

No. of downloads: 100,000
Platform: Android

Shubh Loans is a product of Datasigns Technologies. The Android application brings a new approach to credit score reports by helping the applicants understand their credit standing holistically and take better financial decisions.

Based out of Bangalore, the founders of Datasigns Technologies (Monish Anand, Rahul Sekar, Anand Barua and Tushar Patel) started India's leading mobile lending platform Shubh Loans to help a growing number of salaried employees (starting from 12K) in getting a loan of up to Rs. 5 lakhs with a long term (up to 4 years) EMI tenure.

The smart credit model deviates from the traditional model (where the individual's repayment capacity is the sole criteria), and replaces it with the Shubh Loans credit model (which analyzes repayment capacity of and intention-to-pay by the individual).

The app recently raised 1.5 million Pre-Series A funding from SRI Capital, Beenext and Pravega. Prior to this, the company raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from Sanjai Vohra (former MD of JP Morgan), V. Bunty Bohra (Managing Director and India CEO of Goldman Sachs) and Peeyush Misra (Ex-Partner and MD at Goldman Sachs).

Popularity of Shubh Loans as the best upcoming mobile lending platform is showcased in its 50% month-on-month growth rate. Many business houses are already using the app to get customized credit reports and loan processing support for their employees.

The app has also tie ups with nine lending institutions in easing the personal loan process for end users. While the Shubh Loans Credit Report is helping the loan seekers understand their borrowing capacity and take corrective measures, the personal loan service is helping both unserved and underserved working professionals in getting their loan amounts without leaving the comfort of their home.

The app has set its sight at bringing more than 10 lakh people into the formal banking fold by 2020.