Published: 13th August 2020
Need a loan to pay your kid's school fees after COVID hit? This Google-incubated firm will give you an interest-free loan
With its presence in more than 52 cities of India, Financepeer has collaborated with 2,000 schools across states by supporting schools and families with financial loans and other support
Incubated at Google in 2017, Financepeer was born with the promise of solving a number of financial issues. It was during a series of such involvements when they realised the part they could play in schools. Co-founder and Business Head of the organisation, Sunit Gajbhiye, likes to put it this way, "When we started working with schools, we realised that there was an inherent problem when ti comes to fee collection. There are no banks or financial services catering specifically to the needs of the parents who need to produce the amount and for the educational institutions that need them to survive."
And the problem intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic. Realising that the lack of timely payment could single-handedly topple major institutions, the team decided to lend a hand. Financepeer offers fee financing services to parents by paying an entire year’s fees upfront to the educational institution. Parents can repay the amount in 3-12 monthly installments with no interest rate, hidden charges or processing fees. They also offer a P2P lending services with which interested parents can invest and provide access to quality education for other parents. And to top it all, they have set up FinancepeerED, an innovative digital platform for smart learning and teaching experiences for students of different grades.
"If schools and colleges do not get their fees on time, teachers are at the risk of not receiving their salaries or even losing their jobs," says Sunit, "This is where we come in. We help schools receive their fees on time, upfront. For example, if there is a school whose fees is Rupees 50,000, Financepeer offers it up to the parents and they can take a certain amount and pay it back on a monthly basis. It is zero cost for parents. And it also works as insurance for them."
Currently, the company has tied up with over 2000 institutions across the country and has provided access to more than 9 lakh students spread around 52 cities. In Tamil Nadu alone, Financepeer is working with more than 150 schools including St John's Public School, Athena Global School and several others. After beginning their work within the education world officially in 2018, the team has built an entirely digital proces. On their app, parents can upload documents directly. In cities where the digital footprint is behind, they also perform on-the-ground services including visiting the institutions and explaining their services to parents and teachers in their local languages.
The team stresses that the documentation process is the most simple by offering the highest approval rates through digital mechanisms like the ERP system and social media. Sunit says, "From the testimonials we have received from parents, it is plain and simple that it has made a positive impact in their lives. The security that we offer allows the parent to send their son or daughter to school without the worry of what would happen to them."