Published: 02nd September 2020
How FamPay, a start-up by IIT Roorkee grads could give teens financial swag via a 'numberless' card
Kush Taneja and Sambhav Jain's FamPay payments app issues numberless cards to empower adolescents and teach them some financial 'gyaan'
One of the woes of anyone's teenage years is that no one trusts you with money. You're young enough for adults to be a little skeptical but old enough that it stings. But what if there was a platform where you could have control over how you spend your money? Well, that is exactly what FamPay, a Bengaluru-based neo-bank (a bank that's completely online) start-up, is providing adolescents. With its app and numberless card, called Famcard, its founders, Kush Taneja and Sambhav Jain expect that it will impart some financial education on the youth.
But financial education was not the only thing on the minds of these IIT Roorkee graduates. "With that, we wanted a product which they could use to make payments as well. So there's the app, where the card number and CVV details are stored. A user needs to copy and paste the details to make online transactions while they can swipe the numberless card to make payments physically," explains Kush. The start-up, which was launched just a few months ago, is supported by the Mumbai-based IDFC First Bank.
The numberless Famcard and the app
So, isn't banking all about numbers? How does it work then? "IDFC First Bank is the prepaid payment instrument partner. So there is a bank account in our system and the bank's as well, which is not visible to teenagers. What teenagers get is a UPI ID and their card. It works much like a wallet — money is loaded from a bank account into the FamPay account, which can then be used to scan QR codes to make payments," explains Kush, adding, "Teenagers enjoy texting and posting on social media. Transacting on the app is that easy — money can be sent just like messages." Users can even react to transactions of their friends and family using emojis.
As per the rules, an account in FamPay requires you to provide your Aadhaar card details and then a verification process follows
Kush and Sambhav met at IIT Roorkee, where the duo pursued a degree in Industrial and Production Engineering. Right since college the duo have been inseparable and even worked together on an app for their hostel mess. "Most students don't want to eat hostel food every day. As a result, a lot of food would go to waste. The app we developed would notify the manager preparing the food if someone doesn't want to eat," says Kush. "The entire menu will be available on the app, called Appetiser. A student, who has to pay the mess fee six months in advance, can check it and then, decide whether to skip the meal or not," adds the 22-year-old. The duo managed to reduce food waste in the IIT Roorkee campus by over 5%.
Much like everything else, COVID did play spoilsport to the duo's plan. They had planned to launch the app much earlier but it had to be delayed by a couple of months. "Moreover, the card manufacturers were also not operating and there was a delay in card delivery. However, operations have now resumed," says Kush. The numberless card works in the RuPay network and has been issued by IDFC First Bank.
A user can keep up to Rs 1 lakh in their FamPay account at any given time
The start-up has been funded by US-based seed company Y Combinator. "We had applied in May last year and had begun working on the app since then," says Kush. But teenagers with money? How safe will that be? "The app is encrypted and so is every transaction. A user has to enter a PIN, much like other payments apps, to transact. Moreover, kids can't take a screenshot of the card from the app, removing the chances of it getting leaked," Kush dispels any doubts.