Chqbook partners with NSDL Payments Bank to launch a Zero-balance Digital Current Account for small business owners


Chqbook, India’s first neobank for small business owners, has launched a first of its kind digital current account. Small business owners like kiranas, chemists and others running proprietorships can open a current account instantly on the Chqbook App from their smartphone and in a language they are comfortable with. The current account is available in 8 languages making it more accessible and easy to understand.

The all new digital and instant current account facility is a timely innovation for more than 63 million Indian small businesses. It furthers Chqbook’s vision of financial inclusion by empowering small business owners to access financial services – current accounts, lending and insurance, on their smartphones via the Chqbook App with no paperwork, to run and grow their business.

A majority of Small Business Owners transact through savings accounts leading to accounts being frozen due to multiple credits or current accounts of co-operative banks giving them absolutely no digital interface. A banking transaction typically means a visit to a branch, which is time-consuming, tedious and involves paperwork. Apart from that, it takes anywhere from 7-20 days to open a current account at a bank branch.

A current account is a basic facility required by any business owner to document and track their expenses, organize cash flow and allow for easier calculations of tax liabilities. A current account for business, therefore, allows for deposits, withdrawals and accepts UPI transactions. The newly launched current account addresses the traditional issues of long waiting periods and allows a small business owner to open a current account within minutes.

The current account facility on the Chqbook App digitizes the entire process of account opening. Any android smartphone enabled business owner can open a current account instantly. The digital current account offers all the features including downloading account statements to reconcile transactions, adding and managing beneficiaries, providing transaction history, ensuring easy fund transfers and features enhanced biometric security. Customers can also make cash deposits easily. Chqbook is further increasing the number of cash deposit points to over 1 Lakh locations over the next few months, which reduces the time taken to go to a faraway branch to deposit cash. Further, customers receive the advantage of a zero-balance current account along with a free debit card. The customers can also avail a POS machine with one single click on the Chqbook App.

Chqbook has received strong traction within two weeks of launch of its all new digital current account. Based on the initial traction, Chqbook will open more than 100,000 current accounts within this financial year.

“Chqbook’s mobile app brings together all the financial transactions a small business owner must handle, and these are available on demand and at their fingertips. We want to ensure that when a small business signs up with us, we offer them all financial services that they need to run and grow their business and they do not need to step out and waste time. Our all new digital current account is a game changer that will bring a significant shift in the way digital banking services are offered to this underserved segment. Our launch today not only appeals to our customers with its localization but addresses on the ground challenges, evident in the strong feedback and early adoption. Going forward, our efforts will be to open at least 20-25K current accounts in a month. Our goal is financial inclusion at national scale, and providing superlative customer experience through technology, and we are just getting started,” said Vipul Sharma, Founder & CEO, Chqbook.

India’s rising Internet usage and smartphone penetration with 725 million active users, is revolutionizing access to financial services. Aligning with the vision of a Digital India, Chqbook aims to empower small business owners with digital access to financial services, across banking lending and insurance, on the Chqbook app. With more than 1.6 million App downloads and 250,000 active users across India, Chqbook aims to help make their small businesses big.

Chqbook is in early conversations with investors for its Series B fund raise. The company till date has raised a total funding of US$ 13 million from marquee investors including Aavishkaar Capital, Rajiv Dadlani Group, Earlsfield Capital UK, Harsha Bhogle, Bharat Shyam, Ken GlassRohit ChananaBhupesh KumarAmit ManochaAmit SingalNilesh Shrivastava, and Sakshi Vij.


Chqbook’s Financial Control Center records 9X growth in applications

Chqbook, India’s first neobank for small business owners like kiranas, merchants, chemists, and others running proprietorships, has recorded tremendous growth amid Covid-19 driven by phenomenal acceptance by small business owners, pan India. With one application received every 10 seconds, Chqbook’s financial control centre has seen a 9X growth in applications. With a vision to make India’s 60 million small business owners financially fitter, Chqbook provides world-class financial services through its five key pillars: banking, lending, khata, group insurance, and a first of its kind rewards program.

Chqbook is unit economics-positive, and its YOY revenue witnessed 10X growth in FY’ 19-20 compared to FY’18-19. It has crossed the half a million mark having doubled its customer base in H1 FY20-21. Today, Chqbook serves over 600,000 customers and processes applications from customers across 500 Indian cities.

Chqbook’s full-stack financial platform features new-age technology to deliver superior customer experience. Powered by artificial intelligence and data analytics, the platform assesses a potential customer’s eligibility and ensures their financial requirements are fulfilled speedily, with minimum documentation.

The company has received an overwhelming response from small business owners and now processes over 150,000 applications per month across its five pillars. The company is on track to achieving its plan of servicing over 1 million customers by the end of this financial year. Key growth numbers that support this phenomenal response are:

  • Chqbook’s Current Account, which is powered by ICICI Bank, received over 17,000 new account applications since its launch.
  • Using Chqbook Khata, a free digital bookkeeping service, customers use the service daily to record customer credit transactions, collect payments by sending UPI links and to manage suppliers. Interestingly, Chqbook App has seen an average ticket size of ₹ 2,000 on UPI payments.
  • Chqbook saw a surge in lending applications through the pandemic. Over 60,000 applications were processed.
  • Over 85,000 Chqbook customers have secured their life, health, or shop through the members-only plans on the Chqbook App.
  • Chqbook offers an industry-first rewards program where a small business owner earns reward points on every transaction, which can be claimed against offers from over 30 brands. More than 300,000 rewards have been claimed so far.

Commenting on the growth, Vipul Sharma, Founder & CEO, Chqbook said, “Chqbook’s financial control center has seen widespread adoption across the country and takes us one step closer to making India’s 60 million small business owners financially fitter. We will continue to solve problems for the busy store-owner – the hardware store, the small restaurant, and millions of other mom-and-pop businesses across the country. Over the next few months, we will continue to scale customers across cities and towns in the country and reach over a million small business owners.”