Buy smartphone in installments: Samsung to offer more credit in India
Samsung Electronics Co. is expanding a consumer credit program it launched in India three years ago with the aim of boosting mobile sales in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market.
The South Korean tech giant is recording sales worth 5 billion rupees ($65.8 million) per month through its Samsung Finance+ credit service, which allows buyers to pay off a smartphone in installments. That pace is likely to double the company’s sales via that channel this year, according to Raju Pullan, the head of Samsung’s mobile business in India. The financing plan generated roughly 30 billion rupees in 2021 sales.
The service has proven popular with price-sensitive Indian consumers and Samsung, which sells devices online and via a network of 180,000 stores across the country, is looking to expand availability of its credit plan, Pullan said. It’s currently offered in 50,000 retail outlets, covering smaller towns and rural markets as well as big cities. The company is now processing an average of 300,000 loan applications each month. Prospective customers need to pass identity and creditworthiness checks to qualify.
Samsung, once the top-ranked player in India’s crowded smartphone market, has been outflanked by Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi Corp. and BBK Electronics Corp.-owned Realme, thanks to their lower prices, bigger batteries and more powerful cameras. Its mobile business revenue, which accounts for nearly 70% of its overall sales in India, stood at more than 550 billion rupees at the end of March 2021, according to regulatory filings.
The company plans to launch five new A-series smartphones this year, three of which will include 5G wireless connectivity, a priority for the South Korean electronics maker. It will focus on the 20,000-45,000 rupee segment of the market, according to its local mobile chief.
“We are seeing very strong growth in the overall 5G segment in India and that’s going be our core focus,” Pullan said. “India is one of the biggest 5G players for us.”
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