CRED Business Model: How the FinTech Unicorn Effectively Serves Over 9 Million Customers

Find out how the CRED business model effectively serves millions of customers across India

Have you ever made a payment, transfer funds, or accessed loan services online? Then you’ve experienced some of the many everyday wonders of FinTech. Financial technology (FinTech) refers to innovative tech that improves and automates financial services.

The global FinTech industry is worth $332.5 billion. And the Indian market is one of its powerhouses. India has over 6,000 FinTech startups, and most focus on making personal finances seamless. But only one of them provides a unique FinTech solution.

CRED, an Indian FinTech company, empowers customers to handle multiple bill payments and settle them instantly. The company has over nine million customers. Last year, it brought in a revenue of $12 millionUSD.

The CRED business model is the backbone of the payment service provider; contributing significantly to its success. Want to find out how this works?

Join us as we explore the CRED business model, that makes the company the leading FinTech startup in India.

An Overview of CRED Business Model

CRED, the initiative of Kunal Shah, sprung up in 2018 to provide fast and seamless payment solutions. The platform centers on helping customers manage and monitor transactions with different vendors in one electronic wallet.

The startup unicorn has flagged its banners high in India’s FinTech market, securing about $251 million in series E fundraising. This gave it more scope for expansion. But beneath all this, lies the heart of the platform’s success: the CRED business model.

The CRED business model provides a high-trust credit-based ecosystem for credit card bill payment. This creates a secure avenue for monetary exchange between consumers and merchants. The company has several product offerings, including CRED cash, RentPay, and Travel Store.

Cred Payment Solutions

CRED is a premium brand, offering its products only to its community members. It caters to a loyal and high-income audience.

Prospective customers need to meet some requirements to become verified CRED users. For instance, you should have a credit score above 750 to access the company’s services. Here’s an overview of CRED major payment solutions, elevating its members’ financial life:

CRED Cash and Mint

Users can access an instant personal loan and credit line via CRED cash. It requires no loan application or documents for verification, making the process easy and smooth. Members can conveniently access Rs 50,000.

However, this is not a fixed limit as the maximum loan amount varies for every customer. Members can withdraw CRED cash into other ventures. This includes bank accounts and eCommerce sites.

The loan comes with an interest rate of 16.5 percent and flexible repayment tenure. Furthermore, users get rewarded in CRED coins for making timely payments.

The source of the borrowed cash springs from CRED mint, an investment package exclusive to members. Customers can become lenders, receiving a nine percent ROI.

CRED RentPay

A swift and hassle-free house rent payment service. Tenants can send their rents directly to a landlord’s account on the CRED app. Plus, they can set up a monthly auto-payment for subsequent accommodation fees. Afterwards, they get payment alerts without doing anything or bothering about house rents.

Members receive an interest-free credit duration and some other fantastic rewards. For instance, they get rewards points usable across different brands on the platform. Furthermore, there are cashback offers, lucky draws, and discounts. CRED takes a small service fee of 1-1.5 percent.

CRED Store

CRED store serves as an exotic eCommerce marketplace, connecting over 500 premium brands to luxury shoppers. This space features over 2,000 products from diverse categories like beverage, gourmet food, electronics, and fashion.

The platform executes rigorous quality control to ensure members get the best value on cash for any merchandise on the CRED store. Onboarded businesses also gain a unique advantage, being able to interact directly with their target audience.

Furthermore, customers can recommend brands. This helps their products rank high on the CRED store, attracting more leads to the business. Shoppers can also spend big with earned CRED coins, receiving discounts and other fantastic rewards.


Consumers make multiple credit card payments across different platforms, resulting in the need to track several transactions. This is challenging, and buyers can skip this hassle with a seamless service: CRED Pay.

CRED Pay is a one-stop avenue for handling numerous transactions with different businesses. It integrates Visa Safe Click for a one-click payment service, eliminating the need for credit card details for transactions below Rs 2,000.

Furthermore, the platform provides a rock-solid system by encrypting personal and transactional data. Members also get free CRED coins for making purchases. They can use this reward to redeem prizes from top brands like Myntra and Puma in the CRED store.

CRED Travel

CRED business model incorporates a best-in-class digital service for customers that love to tour around the world. CRED Travel offers diverse travel services for a satisfying and memorable traveling experience.

For instance, members can book flights and premium hotels across India and abroad on the CRED app. They can settle restaurant expenses, enjoying a hot meal while getting cool discounts on payments.

The platform features several destinations with incredible resorts perfect for a holiday trip. This includes countries like Dubai, France, England, and Greece.

Cred Revenue Model: How the Payment Unicorn Runs a Multi-Million Dollar, Revenue Generating Business Operation

The CRED business model integrates an effective revenue generation strategy, helping it secure $12 million revenue in 2021. The CRED revenue model has several streams, fetching the company huge income. Some of them include:

  • Ad revenue.

    CRED focuses on an audience with a high financial status and robust income. It positions brand products that meet members’ needs. This helps businesses generate more sales via this strategic ad display. Of course, ads are not free of cost and CRED receives commissions on product purchases.

  • Transactional revenue.

    The platform earns commissions when customers pay on the CRED app. Also, it receives a fee on CRED coins exchanges for rewards like Amazon gift cards.

  • Loan revenue.

    Consumers take loans from CRED, provided in collaboration with IDFC banks. The company earns a commission on these loans via interest charged on CRED cash.

Cred Marketing Channels for Above The Line Brand Promotion

Many companies often channel marketing just to improve sales. While this is essential, CRED also integrates a customer-centric approach to improve customer experience. Here’s an overview of the startup unicorn marketing channels:

Loyalty reward programs

Paying bills on CRED could get really delightful as the company sends surprise gifts to loyal customers. For instance, members receive cakes with inscriptions like "it pays to be good." This nourishes customers relationship, retaining members as they feel genuinely cared for.

Sport sponsorship

CRED sponsors the ever-interesting Indian Premier League (TATA IPL). This exposes the brand to a broader target audience of over 136 million cricket lovers. CRED steals this opportunity to engage those catching the live action on TV via ads.

Plus, it organizes social media contests to win mega jackpot. This attracts many cricket fans as they engage in it to win fantastic rewards like 100 percent cashback.

Ad Campaigns

Ads are crucial to boosting product sales, but it becomes really powerful when it features famous TV personalities. CRED has executed some spectacular marketing campaigns. This involved celebrities like Jackie Shroff, Rahul Dravid, Maninder Singh, and more.

For instance, it aired six TV commercials in 2020 featuring renowned media personalities like Anil Kapoor and Bappi Lahiri. This led to a 700 percent increment of the CRED app downloads.

Performance Metrics of CRED Business Model

The CRED business model positively impacts the brand’s growth, helping it attract massive funding from investors. For instance, the Bangalore-based company raised over $80 million in January 2021. It also had a $251 million fundraising in the same year.

This vast inflow of investment funds coupled with a unique payment solution pushes the CRED market value to over $2 billion. The brand processes about 20 percent of all credit card payments in India. This places it in the frontline of the country’s leading FinTech startups.

What’s in it for Entrepreneurs: Key Takeaways for Small Businesses

A common challenge entrepreneurs or startup founders face is developing and implementing a functional business model. This is key to achieve any business goals: from obtaining funding, to directing operations. All activities taken up to achieve customer satisfaction. Thankfully, we have the CRED business model.

These are four crucial lessons from CRED business model to fire up your startup growth:

Identify one customer problem, and then more

Entrepreneurs tend to design solutions for multiple customer challenges. This is burdensome and may make your value proposition vague.

Instead, identify one pestering problem and solve it. Seek to solve others as your business and product line expands. For instance, CRED started with handling multiple transactions but has since ventured into lending, eCommerce, and more.

Build products for real problems, not trends

It’s tempting and feels cool to hop on the latest technology trend like web3, metaverse, and NFTs. Of course, these fields are lucrative and expanding. However, your product won’t sell if it utilizes great tech without any actual solution.

Sell solutions that help customers

Small business owners often focus on building advanced products without understanding customers' needs. This results in poor sales. Identify consumers’ pain points and sell a solution that solves them. For instance, CRED serves as a one-stop platform for handling anything credit card payment.

Avoid reinventing the wheel

There are existing solutions for your target audience. The solution maybe the same, but the delivery is all yours. You can bring in your own dash of innovation, addressing a particular problem faster or cheap.

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