Xiaomi to soon launch Mi Credit service in India, banking on phone data for finance play

Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, has been holding the crown of being the top smartphone maker in India for a few quarters now. And as the competition gets fierce, the company is looking at other services to generate revenues. One of these revenue streams was ads within the MIUI interface. Now, Xiaomi is also looking to tap into the lucrative, but crowded financial sector. The company will soon launch Mi Credit service in India.

Xiaomi Mi Pay

Xiaomi already has Mi Pay app in India which was launched in March this year. Built around UPI, the app allows users to send and request money using the Unified Payments Interface platform. The app also enables utility bill payment services, mobile recharge, DTH recharge and more.

Xiaomi Mi Credit

The Mi Credit service was launched by Xiaomi in September last year. Launched in partnership with KreditBee, Xiaomi isn’t offering the loan, but is simply linking the user to a service that will offer the loan. Users can get loads up to Rs 100,000, with interest rates starting at 1.8 percent.

The service was under testing, the official launch is set to take place in the coming weeks, Reuters reports. India is the biggest market for Xiaomi outside China. With an install base of 70 million phones, Xiaomi is looking at increasing its fintech revenues. However, there is a small concern related to user privacy.

Xiaomi Mi Credit privacy concerns

Xiaomi uses phone activity data to create a credit profile for its users. According to documents seen by Reuters, the profile is created based on customer “identity, life stage, lifestyle, social relationships, and brand loyalty.” One potential bank partner in Indonesia backed away from the deal due to concerns about invasive data collection.

Customers signing up to share their personal data with Xiaomi includes everything from “professional and educational backgrounds” to “temporary messages history.” Users also have to share information related to “use of certain apps and websites.” The agreement also states that Xiaomi can share personal information with third-party service providers. Lifestyle changes, such as a promotion or a divorce, as part of its approach to credit scoring, is also tracked by the company.

Banks usually ask for a lot of documents when getting a loan. With Xiaomi using phone data to offer credit service, it remains to be how many people will be willing to share the data with the company.

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