Singapore based fintech company LALA World has launched a blockchain based payments application for iOS in India and the UAE. The app will facilitate users to pay mobile and utility bills such as telephone, gas, broadband, electricity, etc., the company said in a press release. According to the company’s website, the ‘LALA’ ecosystem is built around four key products – LALA Transfer, LALA Card, LALA Bill Pay and LALA Lends.

In India, the application currently supports 25 different utility service providers and 29 different DTH and mobile service providers. Users will be required to create a blockchain based ‘LALA ID’ to avail the said services. An Android version of the application is already available through Google Play Store.

LALA World claims to have launched a mobile wallet app, LALA Wallet, in the country for Android devices in July. Going forward, LALA World plans to launch LALA Transfer, an International remittance service and a Crypto Lending service ‘for crypto friendly nations.’

Loans through Rising Straits Finance

While the Economic Times reports that LALA World currently only facilitates bill payments in India, a blog post by the company claims that it has already commenced lending operations in the country. The company claims to provide loan services in the country through Rising Straits Finance Pvt. Ltd, a non-banking financial company (NBFC). Explaining its strategy in the segment, the company said that it plans to offer loans in two segments in the first phase – Micro and Nano Credit (MANC) for individuals and MSME Loans for Micro Entrepreneurship.

According to the company, there are over 600 functional NBFCs in India, however, LALA LENDS stands out owing to its usage of Blockchain, which is impossible to tamper. Further, it claims that the company maintains its margins despite reducing costs for the end users, as the state of the art loan origination, credit underwriting (LALA Score) and disbursement technologies, help maintain efficiency and cut costs in its processes.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Singapore, LALA World is a technology company which uses blockchain to create a connected financial ecosystem for the unbanked. It is present in 5 countries and has over 100 global partners including government agencies and NGOs. Its vision is to reach 100 million people by 2020 and bring financial services to the disadvantaged around the world, according to its website.

Blockchain developments in India

– This week, reports claimed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a new unit within the central bank to track emerging technologies like cryptocurrency, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

–  Late last year, Axis Bank started cross-border payments on blockchain using fintech company Ripple’s technology.

– SBI said that it will be deploying a smart contract for KYC solution over the blockchain.

– YES Bank is using a smart contract developed by fintech startup Cateina Technologies on a blockchain which will allow Bajaj Electricals to process disbursement of funds and discounting to its vendors.

– In October 2016, ICICI Bank created a blockchain application and piloted transactions on its blockchain network in partnership with Emirates NBD, a banking group in the Middle East.