Financial independence and literacy have been paradigms that have primarily been restricted to adults in India. Even today’s technoid teenage generation don’t know how to make financial decisions because a large proportion of them still rely on their parents for bank accounts and transactions. FamPay, a fin-tech startup founded by two IIT Roorkee grads, Sambhav Jain and Kush Taneja, provides a platform for teenagers to be financially independent in a fun way that every teenager fantasizes of.
The Fam behind FamPay’s journey to Fame
The duo talks about how they came across such a unique idea, "The idea struck us after an interesting interaction with teenagers. We visited malls in Bangalore where we asked some teens a set of questions. It was surprising that 90% of them had smartphones, but none of them had their personal bank accounts. They were dependent on their parent's debit cards or cash. The most technologically savvy generation losing out on financial literacy was just strange. Owing to the notion that financial literacy is only for adults, we wanted to build a fun learning experience only for teenagers, and that's how FamPay was born."
The founders Sambhav Jain and Kush Taneja chose not to participate actively in college placement. Instead, they laid the foundation for their start-up, FamPay, during their final year at IIT Roorkee. After the launch of their first product last year, the company's growth has been fabulous, with month-on-month growth averaging 100%. The founders credit the entire team for these landmark accomplishments, "From a team of 2 then to a team of 60+ members today; we can proudly say that we have built a Fam! Our young team that strives to create the best product for GenZ is extremely dynamic with an average age of 24."
Transacting money with FamPay is a really straightforward process for any teen to understand and use without any glitches. They can add money to FamPay using their parent’s debit card or UPI after completing their KYC. Further, they can continue to shop online or offline with their physical FamCard. FamCard is the biggest highlight of FamPay. A teen loves to associate any physical amenity in his possession with his personality and feelings, and that’s where FamPay stands out among other cashless transaction apps.
The company has wonderfully gamified its major goals of propagating financial literacy and mentality of savings among teens using unique features like ‘Save the Streak,’ a 7-day Savings Challenge. The users are rewarded with FamCoins on successful completion of the challenge. The FamCoins can further be used to get various discounts and offers from brands popular among teens. Moreover, donations made by teenagers in the app make them stand for a social cause.
How does the GenZ centric approach makes FamPay uniquely successful?
Sambhav and Kush : FamPay was exclusively built for a target audience that had never been tapped before, the user experience is quite unique, hitting the sweet spot between innovation, safety, and gamification. Our entire focus is Gen-Z centric, and it is imperative for us to know our audience in and out.
State Of The Art Designs: Winning the Trust of Teenagers & Parents Both
FamPay follows a truly customer-centric approach. Given that the idea of the startup targets two generations, diving into the minds of youngsters has to be interwoven with winning trust of the actual buyers, that is the parents.
What is the background thinking of the team behind the doodle card?
Sambhav and Kush : FamPay follows a truly customer-centric approach. We also prioritize staying in touch with teenagers over everything else to understand them and their routines better. We have realized that teens love Instagram, sharing stories and their daily life on social media. Teens also love personalization. They love an element that speaks volumes about their personality. We wanted to do something that had never been done before and with teens, you need to think out of the box. Building on that insight, an idea for a doodle card was born with the FamCard Me.
The customers can choose doodles and signature fonts that match their style to design their own card. The purpose is to let teens be able to express their personality and flaunt their cards, while also absorbing important financial lessons from the app.
FamPay believes that the new generation deserves an impeccable user experience and that is precisely why research and product design is of utmost importance to them.
Pleasing the millennials and gen-z together in one product seems like a herculean task. However, FamPay team has managed to pull it off smoothly. The basic product development journey began by seeking names for the product. They wanted to ensure that parents were equally involved as teens in the process of building a financially aware generation. That is precisely how they came up with and settled upon the name ‘‘FamPay’, where Fam is an essential factor. From the beginning, an effort was made to ensure interaction with parents to familiarize them with the concept of FamPay.
How has the team managed to satisfy parents in their GenZ targeted approach?
Sambhav and Kush : It is important for parents to know that they have the option to keep a check on all the spends of their child and that they are the captains! We receive regular testimonials from parents describing their trust in FamPay, which further helps other parents to retain their trust in us. We have also simplified the terms and conditions. In case of any queries regarding the features of FamPay, one can go to our website to check out support blogs.
It is ensured that every teenager or parent gets the best customer support for their issues and they can seek live support. “Their trust in us is the foremost priority of the company”, both the founders assert. The team strives to ensure a smooth payment experience and puts in all their efforts. In addition, all the certifications and compliance requirements are followed recommended by the bank partnered with FamPay. To keep things simple and hassle-free, the target audience is fully updated with all the latest features as well as technicalities that the product may be facing. The data communication is also extremely safe and encrypted. One of the biggest motivations of the core team is creating a financially aware generation with their own help, which is why their approach towards building products is highly driven by the community.
Investors, Experiences & Setbacks
The journey of the founders into entrepreneurship found Y-Combinator as its first stepping stone, which really helped them in creating a concrete foundation. Y-Combinator is a start-up accelerator which provides seed money, connections and advice in exchange for seven percent equity of the company. FamPay managed to beat all odds, to get into the programme which has an approximate of only 1.5% acceptance rate. The founders further elaborated “They showed immense support in our highs and lows, helped us in focusing on features and products that were essential for FamPay’s growth. We became acquainted with the true meaning of entrepreneurship at Y-Combinator. After three months of the program, we had managed to raise our seed funding which gave a kick start to FamPay! Y-Combinator undoubtedly proved to be a great learning experience.”
Challenges are woven into all paths that lead to success, and, for this start-up it was no different. They feel building FamPay, living through every experience it has provided, has only helped them grow and taught them important lessons as first time entrepreneurs. Though, for them, the journey has definitely been challenging but FamPay has had immense potential since its inception. The idea of a neo-bank for teens in India was unheard of. Meeting with banks, introducing them to the idea and getting them onboard was a major challenge they encountered, but they look upon it as experience involved with an abundance of learnings.
What is the long term vision of the company?
Sambhav and Kush : It is our topmost priority to provide teenagers a secure payments’ experience, however, we are constantly working on identifying fraud patterns and finding out the level of risk. We are aiming at staying on top of all the customer support queries, and our team ensures that every teen or parent gets the support they need.