The upsurge of digital banking and contactless payments in India has resulted in a subsequent shift towards wallets, contactless cards, digital payment apps and other financial products. However, India has more than 200 million teenagers and young adults, who are excluded from financial education as well as banking services.
With the arrival of teen-centric pocket money apps, the idea of focusing on this youth segment, as consumers, has emerged. Empowered with the use of new-age technologies like AI, big-data analysis and cloud computing, pocket money apps for teens are fundamentally transforming the notion of digital transactions and financial literacy in the country.
In January 2022, muvin raised $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by WaterBridge Ventures amongst others.
Excerpts from an e-mail interview
What market gap is muvin addressing?
muvin (www.muvin.in) is an indigenous teens-centric pocket money app. At muvin, we are digitizing allowance for children and amplifying financial literacy amongst students in India. My co-founder, Vineet Gupta, and I launched the muvin app in 2021 and since then we have been focussing on positioning personal finance management as an essential life skill and the need to inculcate it from an early age. muvin came into being to address a major gap area.
Despite being a digital first-generation, India’s teens conduct over 80 percent of their transactions in cash. Being underserved from a banking perspective (considered unprofitable) they end up entering adulthood with little or no knowledge of personal finance. Today’s teens are becoming financially independent a lot earlier than a few decades ago. Boosting their financial knowledge at school level could redefine the way they understand the value of money, learn how to save and spend wisely- muvin is addressing these areas of concern.
muvin offers an easy-to-understand, intuitive, friction-free and education-powered experience for our users with products that are customised and personalised to the needs of teenagers.
How does pocket money app work? What has been the response so far?
muvin empowers parents to transfer allowance directly in their child’s wallet, who can then use it digitally or through their own prepaid card. Parents can create an account for their children as dependents; transfer allowance directly to the child’s wallet (manage and reload their child’s prepaid card) instantly (from anywhere) and monitor their child’s spends in real time.
With an aim to enable teenagers and young adults gain financial literacy and independence, muvin offers a smooth experience through an instant zero balance wallet and physical prepaid card, powered by RuPay. Our teen users can create their own wallet with a simple KYC journey performed by their parents or guardian. Our prepaid card for teens - ‘muvinCard’ provides the convenience of online payments along with the power of a contactless card while making payments offline. We are enabling India’s teens to experience independence in their financial transactions and decisions.
The biggest advantage for India's digital-savvy generation is that they need a safe and secure platform to conduct online and offline transactions in an easy manner.
We have received an encouraging response since we launched our digital platform and app. We currently have a pan-India user base of over 100,000 and are targeting getting one million users in the next 12 months.
What are the issues and challenges for pocket money apps?
Neobanks and teen centric pocket money apps like muvin have created a category that never existed which also means that we have battled a genuine challenge of getting our key consumer audience to shift from cash to digital. Pocket money apps interact with their customers digitally and to build trust especially amongst digital-savvy parents is a slower process and certainly a tough one- as it depends on being utmost transparent. In this regard, our partnership with entities such as RuPay has helped our users forge a relationship with us.
Our target audience is dynamic and one that is spread across India. They are digitally savvy and consume a high percentage of digital content. Things are steadily moving towards the pre pandemic times- teens are back at their physical campuses and their parents too are getting back to their personal and professional engagements.
Players like us need to constantly strive towards ensuring that we offer an enhanced user experience.
What are your plans post-funding?
Earlier this year, we concluded pre-Series A round which was led by WaterBridge Ventures, with participation from India’s largest Venture Debt fund Alteria Capital and Krishna Bhupal, Co-Founder, Rational Pricing Technologies and board member of GVK Power & Infra.
For the next few quarters, our efforts will be concentrated on growth and improving our overall product experience. The aim is to scale-up across all vectors, and for that we might potentially raise another round of funding later this year.
We will continue to optimise financial tools to enable India’s teens to spend, save and invest their money with confidence and in the most simplified manner. Financial skills are worth practising at all ages, and we believe that every teenager should be empowered to manage their finances wisely. To further increase financial literacy and financial inclusion, players like us will have to consistently focus on investing in the latest technology to enhance the user experience by making the apps highly secure, error-free and responsive.
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