How a Bengaluru-based startup is solving credit card woes of GenZ and millennials – slice by slice

Traditional credit cards generally come with fixed annual charges. Slice is changing this by offering “a completely zero-fee card with no hidden charges or annual fees.” Representative image/Pixabay

Hidden charges, big interest rates and heavy penalties are some of the woes associated with traditional credit cards. Credit card customers are subjected to ambiguities. So much so that many of them have started to think of credit cards as a burden. For example, the minimum monthly payment option, which puts many customers in a debt trap that they even fail to realise initially. While many credit card users fall for the minimum monthly payment option, it does not reduce the actual due amount by much. However, a new-age payment card offered by slice, a Bengaluru-based startup, is promising to solve these credit card woes for GenZ and millennials.

Rajan Bajaj, Founder and CEO of slice says the banking industry in India has always viewed credit card as a loan product rather than a payment product. Therefore, banks’ focus is to optimise the fees related to credit cards and there are portfolio teams to increase their loan book, leaving the customer experience in a corner.

However, when it comes to ‘slice super card’, Bajaj told FE Online, “We see it as a payments product and we are solving it as a consumer experience problem with a ‘customer first’ approach in mind. With slice, we are targeting everyone who is eligible for credit, and we are looking at a 400 million market where our credit limit starts from Rs 10 thousand and goes up to Rs 10 lakh.”

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Designed for millennials and Genz, who are seeking new-age financial experiences, slice card is challenging the traditional credit card ecosystem by offering simplified credit solutions to consumers.

“Unlike many other credit card companies, our focus was on transparency and smooth onboarding process. Additionally, our app is designed to be highly interactive, intuitive, and relatable to millennials and Genz – helping them truly understand and demystify the complexities of traditional banking. Through the slice app, one can have complete control of their card – track their expenses, and repayment schedule to name a few,” Bajaj said.

But, why a new card in an already crowded credit card market?

Slice started off in 2016 and have gone through various pivots in its journey till now. It took the first steps in the payment space with EMI products and gradually introduced a virtual slice card in 2018 and a physical card in 2019.

Bajaj claims that slice card has a “unique proposition” and “exclusive features” that make it stand out from traditional credit cards. Slice is promising a seamless and hassle-free onboarding experience to users.

Traditional credit cards generally come with fixed annual charges. Slice is changing this by offering “a completely zero-fee card with no hidden charges or annual fees.”

“Our customers can literally use the product for free for life if they follow a monthly repayment plan,” Bajaj said in an interaction with FE Online.

He further said that banks generate 50 – 60% of their income through some form of hidden charge!

“There is an unsaid belief in the traditional banking structure that these charges are essential for profitability and business sustenance. Whereas, slice took a completely opposite stance. We believe in full transparency when dealing with our customers, which has resulted in great customer trust and referrals. More than 70 per cent of our customers come from the referrals of our existing customers,” he said.

Longest interest-free instalments on Slice card

Slice recently launched a 3-month no-cost interest offer, allowing users to slice their card bills over three months for free. Bajaj said this is the “longest interest-free instalments” offer in the industry with no “hidden or extra charges”. Literally, slice card users can get up to 90 days of interest-free instalments.

Slice has also launched “slice rewards” which provides up to 2 per cent rewards on every card transaction and is instantly redeemable to cash.

Generally, while offering no-cost EMIs on products, credit card companies do not mention extra charges like GST. However, these extra charges appear in the monthly bill. Is this different for slice cards?

“We have been working with many brands like Amazon, Flipkart for two years on a no-cost EMI provision. With the introduction of these two new features, slice members can make transactions on 5 million merchants that accept Visa. They can also convert their monthly bills into three-month instalments at no extra charges like – hidden charges or GST. After seeing the success with our no-cost EMI products with no hidden or extra charges, we believe it is time for the industry to start viewing credit as a consumer product with Facebook, Google, and Instagram as competitors. Opposed to pushing it as a loan product to consumers,” said Bajaj.

How to get a Slice card?

People who are over the age of 18 can apply for the slice card. Bajaj said, “Our average customer age is 23. Most of our customers today are salaried employees or freelancers. We are going after a large customer base including new to credit customers because someone must take the step of providing a customer with their first card.”

According to Bajaj, there are 3,50,000 slice card customers currently with close to 1 million on the waitlist. Slice is aiming to reach a target of one million customers by the end of FY22.

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