Let’s admit, like me, there may be a lot of you who use more than one credit card, and managing them can be a difficult. Different banks have different due dates for bill payments, and there always comes a time when you happen to miss a payment and get charged with a late fee. Late payment also affects your CIBIL score, which also means it won’t be easy to get a loan from the bank. But what if I tell you there is an app that acts like a genie, and makes your wish come true by taking all your credit card related hassles away?
Yes, it’s true. There is an app that makes credit card management and payments easier. What else, it also rewards you for making timely payments. Kunal Shah, the founder of mobile wallet and utility bill payment platform, Freecharge, is here with this new venture more than three years after his company got acquired by Snapdeal. During this three year time, he served as an advisor to Sequoia Capital, and as a Chairman for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
According to a report on YourStory, earlier this year, Kunal raised $30 million from a group of investors led by Sequoia Capital. The new venture is a platform called CRED, and the app is available in beta on both Android and iOS platforms. So what is CRED all about, and how can it help you?
My next – CRED.
— Kunal Shah (@kunalb11) November 26, 2018
About the app
CRED is a simple platform that acts as a hub for credit card payments. As Entracker reports, the app is currently in beta and only individuals with a credit score of 750 and above can access the service. Using the app is very simple. Just download the app, and follow the on-screen instructions to set-up.
You’ll have to give your phone number and authenticate using an OTP, and offer your first name and surname. The app will then verify these details with RBI, and fetch your card details. Whether you have one credit card or 3 or 5, all of them will show up in a card format. Of course, you will have to verify the card by entering the missing numbers, and it will credit Re 1 in your account for confirmation.
You will also find options called “cred protect” and “smart statements” which, after your consent, will access your Gmail account, look for card statements for a particular credit card and fetch transaction details. If you get your card statements on some other email service like Yahoo, Hotmail or so, you’re out of luck for now. It will categorize based on your spendings – like travel, subscriptions, shopping, and more. In my case, it shows I have two subscriptions – one for Netflix and other for Apple Music, with a combined total spend of Rs 620.
The smart statements also show I spent on Yatra for booking flight tickets / holidays, and some shopping at Brand Factory. In case of my boss who takes Uber to work and back home everyday, he suddenly knows exactly how much he spends on cab rides every month. This is neat, as it calculates all Uber fares and shows a total during the statement period.
Lastly, I would like to talk about design. The app has minimal interface, but the one that is functional and looks visually appealing too. It’s all card-based UI, just like Google Assistant page. You get white background with colorful cards, and the fonts look nice too. The app developers have paid attention even to the minute details, like during initial setup when it fetches card details from RBI, the animation looks good. Even the cards with rounded corners, I must say, the design is really refreshing.
Let’s talk rewards
Now, we use credit cards, we get reward points, which once accumulated you can redeem for rewards. But a lot of users fail to make payment on times, mostly because they either forget the due date or get lazy to go to the website, enter card details, head over to internet banking page, authenticate, and so on. But, CRED lets you do it all right from your phone, and there is absolutely no need to go to a PC again.
The more you pay, the more you earn as well. Using the app, I made a payment of about Rs 20,000 for which I did earn 20,000 CRED points. Every time I make a payment, I get an option to something called “kill the bill” which uses 1,000 points and rewards some cashbacks up to Rs 100,000. And then, the remaining points you can redeem for coupons. The company has partnered with the likes of Urban Ladder, ixigo, CureFit, Furlenco, FreshMenu to offer you coupons.
What about security?
Of course, when you are giving someone an access to your data – which includes your credit card details, Gmail account, and more, anyone would be hesitant. But the company says it uses a secure connection using 256-bit encryption to safeguard your data and transactions. And for the app, your screen lock – which could be passcode, pattern, fingerprint or Iris (based on what phone you use), are all supported.
I often tend to be lazy when it comes to making payments, but with the app there wasn’t any need to go to the computer and punch in all details. Simply open the app, tap on pay now, enter amount, authenticate using net banking or debit card, and you’re done. The app says payment will be credited in the account within 48 hours, but all the three payments I made got credited in under 30 hours, which is not bad.
If you struggle managing your credit cards, the CRED app may be something you can give a try. There are a few things missing such as UPI option for making payments, a wider range of rewards catalogue, and some refinements. But considering this is an early beta, the company has done a good job. I’m sure as the app gets constantly updated, more features could be introduced. Go ahead, give it a try an let us know how you find it in the comments below.