For MSMEs and their clients, OkCredit is a mobile business accounting programme that allows digital recording of credit/payment transactions throughout India. Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kumar, and Aditya Prasad kicked it off in 2017.
The founders of Bengaluru-based startup OkCredit may not have expected the pandemic back in 2017, but they were prepared to put their confidence in developing digital mobile accounting solutions for MSMEs. IIT Kanpur graduates Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kumar, and Aditya Prasad often interacted with local grocery stores and found that shopkeepers would do most of their paper accounting.
It took a long time to tally, the method was prone to human error, and it was easy to misplace the tiny slips of paper. This led them in 2017 to launch OkCredit, a free, digital-based small business owners’ credit balance tracking solution.
The ledger of the small merchant also contains records of credit transactions or items sold on credit to a regular customer of a merchant that settles monthly or bi-monthly accounts. The method of settling credit payments, however, is painstaking and if the transaction is not reported with the correct time and date stamps, the merchant could end up losing money.
This is also where OKCredit steps via SMS and WhatsApp integration to solve the problem. The merchant sends a message to his or her daily client any time a credit transaction is made. Using a web page connection that also offers a monthly breakdown of credit transactions, the end-user can also display his or her unpaid balance with that specific retailer.
OkCredit recently launched OkShop, an online marketplace for small merchants who can view and reach consumers with their goods and offers. OkStaff, a staff and payroll management programme for larger organisations that employ a workforce, has also been developed.
The USP of OkCredit is that its goods are straightforward, secure, and technologically advanced. It runs on a simple smartphone and helps automate retailers’ business transactions with clients and wholesalers.
OkCredit, which has raised just over $84 million, claims to have had more than three million transactions on the platform every day. It has 5.5 million active users and has seen $7.5 billion worth of transactions registered in October 2020.
It’s an uphill battle to work with MSME clients, and challenges are prevalent, especially in the digital bookkeeping field. Companies such as OkCredit face the challenge of moving the mindsets of consumers from conventional bookkeeping activities to embracing technology and digital platforms.
In developing easy accounting software for small companies, start-ups such as Vyapar and KhataBook have made major inroads. For some time now, existing players such as Tally, Intuit, and Zoho have also been in the game and are all vying for an overall $85 billion opportunity to digitise Indian MSMEs.
In the current situation, where creditors can be less willing or are unwilling to pay, the timely payment alert is particularly useful for MSMEs. Also, OkCredit noticed retailers stopping and selling their goods and services on credit during the lockdown earlier this year as they experienced a fall in business and revenues.
OkCredit is now preparing to broaden its offerings and reach out across India to MSMEs who may not be aware of such goods and services.