Citrus Pay has tied up with Bangalore based social fundraising platform Milaap to introduce a new feature called ‘Lend a Hand’. The feature, which allows users to lend money to individuals in rural India, is part of the new version of the Citrus Cash app. The updated app is available for both Android and iOS.
Other than ‘Lend a Hand’ the app allows users to send money to friends and ‘request money’ when they need it. The app also offers an option to ‘split bills’ for groups paying in stores. The company claims the updated app has has a faster and smoother interface, and that its ‘Lend a Hand’ option has already contributed over Rs 3 lakh to people in rural areas.
On downloading the app, users are first prompted to create an account, post which options to quick send money, quick request money, split a bill and lend a hand are displayed. Users can send money to any of their contacts after first loading money in their accounts using credit/debit cards or net banking. Similarly users can select contacts to request money from, which sends them an SMS mentioning the amount requested and a prompt to download the app the pay.
The split a bill feature works just like the request money options, except that users are able to add multiple people to split with including themselves. As for ‘Lend a Hand’, Citrus claims all the money is returned once the loan is repaid. Trying out this feature, we noticed the app only offered us a single organization to lend money to, which claims it will repay in 12 months. The app only allows for the lending of Rs 100 at a time for now.
Meru cabs tie-up: In October last year, radio cab service Meru Cabs released an in-app prepaid wallet to offer cashless taxi rides in partnership with Citrus Pay. The company said then that users could reload their Citrus wallet through credit or debit card or through net banking and after the ride completion, the fare amount would be automatically deducted from their wallet.
Citrus Pay fundraise: In December 2013, Citrus Pay had raised $5.5 million in a Series B round of funding from econtext Asia and Beenos Asia with participation from existing investor Sequoia Capital. Prior to this, Citrus Pay had raised $2 million from Sequoia Capital in June 2012. Note that Citrus Pay had secured a prepaid wallet license from the RBI in October 2013.
Competition: Various apps currently provide payment services in India that allow users to send money to each other. Pre-paid wallets such as Oxigen are using social media and messaging platforms such as Whatsapp to enable transactions via them. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are looking to enable peer-to-peer money transfer through their applications Pockets and Chillr respectively. There’s also Kotak Mahindra Bank with KayPay, a bank agnostic payment product for Facebook users to send money to each other.