Deep Dive: Fintech Lender ZestMoney Is Riding The Shifting Landscape Of EMI Financing With AI-powered Solutions

Check Out Simulated Reality Podcast With Zest Money CTO & Co Founder Ashish Anantharaman

Over the past couple of years, the popularity of online shopping has skyrocketed. People are opting for online stores over brick and mortar stores and with all the recent advancements in the e-commerce industry, the numbers are just getting bigger. People want to buy and experience all the things that make life better – from holidays to education to electronics to home garnishing. However, these things are expensive, and not everyone can afford to pay the entire amount at once — they seek financing.

This is where ZestMoney comes into the scenario. ZestMoney enables people to pay using digital EMI, without the need for a credit card or a credit score. “Most traditional banks ignore new-to-credit customers due to their insufficient credit history. However, we don’t believe consumers need to go to a bank and take out heavy loans to finance these types of products. They can be financed instantly, at the checkout, using technology and AI – and this is exactly what we have built at ZestMoney,” said Ashish Anantharaman, Co-Founder & CTO, ZestMoney.

What started out of a garage, ZestMoney today is scaling significantly — in terms of customer base, products offering, and the company itself.

“Since the inception, we focused a lot on getting feedback from our early adopters and refined our product, platform further. We improved the product offerings and customer experience, we focused on expanding the aspects of our products that were most beneficial to our customers,” said Ashish.

Technology Stack At ZestMoney

To meet the business demands and to offer the best customer experience, ZestMoney with its team of about 70 engineers working on various streams, makes use of some of the latest and cutting-edge technology solutions available in the market today.

The company follows microservices architecture which allowed it to experiment and evolve on technology choices over time.  Cloud is one such technology that has played a vital role in ZestMoney’s journey. The company has been extensively leveraging the technology choices available on cloud-native computing foundation.

Furthermore, Go and NodeJS is the choice for backend services and Python for all data, AI, and ML solutions.  ZestMoney has predominantly used Angular for its frontend and is currently experimenting with React and Vue.js. All services are containerized with Docker and the company extensively use AWS stack for a lot of building blocks.

“Technology has been evolving at an unprecedented speed. What technology options we had about a year back may not be relevant now. Our team keeps experimenting with the latest stack that’s out there but whatever the option is we keep scale and security as the top criteria,” Ashish added.

AI & ML At The Heart Of ZestMoney

Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are some of the core concepts ZestMoney uses in its technology stack. The company has deployed these technologies across its core engines – risk, decision, behaviour, pricing, and recommendation engines.

The company consume and process thousands of data points arising from the digital footprint, mobile technology, and transactional behaviour among other sources to help consumers through onboarding and to provide him with a credit limit.  Also, the company has built modern age AI assistance such as voice, vernacular, intelligent OCR and document enhancement processes to provide a seamless experience to its consumers.

“We have built the first fully automated digital platform in India that is completely changing the way people access to credit in this market. Using advanced machine learning and data-based approach, we have created a way to underwrite even the ‘new-to-credit’ customers,” said Ashish.

Staying Ahead Of The Curve

ZestMoney today has an NPS rating of 75, which is higher than the scores of Amazon and Uber. It has maintained the trust of its customers with its top-notch service. Talking about customer service, the company actively track all social channels, reviews, and spend time to connect with its customers. Time to time, it also conducts ‘Coffee with Customers’ sessions, to actively get their feedback and act on it immediately to improve our product.

“Our customer experience team is very obsessed with our consumers and they go to great lengths to ensure our users’ needs are taken care of,” Ashish added.

Being a genuine digital product, the company believes this leads to the best user experience and lower operating costs, which we can then pass on to its consumers. Also, it has its own proprietary decision and risk engine, which has been trained over 3 years using a lot of alternative data and this means ZestMoney can approve more customers than its competitors who rely heavily on CIBIL score.

Furthermore, ZestMoney has built one of the widest networks of redemption points and deep partnerships with merchants like Flipkart, Amazon and MakeMyTrip among others to give special offers to its customers. So, once a user gets his credit limit, he gets to make payments in EMI across all ZestMoney partners, both online and offline.

The Roadmap Ahead

Looking into the future, ZestMoney aspires to be the most loved financial brand in the country. At present, it is working to upgrade its platform and deliver its product in various new age digital channels such as WhatsApp. Also, it is focusing on localizing its product and is currently building vernacular capabilities.

“Our growth teams are working hard to increase the number of redemption points and our tech teams are supporting the expansion by leveraging existing and upcoming payment rails,” Ashish concluded. “At the end of the day, ZestMoney is all about making life more affordable and everything we do is led by the needs of our customers.”

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Harshajit Sarmah
Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.

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