Big Idea

Teens often disagree with their parents, but FamPay brings them on the same page

This Bengaluru-based start-up wants to bring financial independence to teenagers

Fampay Co-founders (L-R): Sambhav Jain and Kush Taneja

Cue music. “If you invest your tuppence, wisely in the bank...Soon that tuppence, safely invested in the bank, will compound,” sings George Banks to his children, Jane and Michael, in the 1964 Disney musical Mary Poppins. He is joined by his colleagues in a grand musical Fidelity Fiduciary Bank to impress upon the youngsters about the importance of investing and savings. That was the ‘60s. Five decades later, parents are still faced with the challenge of inculcating financial literacy in their children. It is here that Bengaluru-based start-up FamPay hopes to make a mark. 

“During the placements season in colleges, one commonly hears — ‘If I get this job, my life is settled’. This goes to show that most students cannot differentiate between money and wealth,” explains Sambhav Jain, one of the co-founders of FamPay, adding that over 250 million minors (aged 13-18 years) cannot transact digitally, despite having smartphones with working internet connection and being tech savvy. To address this, FamPay, founded in March 2019, has created a card and an app that allows teenagers to secure UPI, make peer to peer (P2P) and card payments, without setting up a bank account.

Along with Kush Taneja, a batchmate from IIT Roorkee, Jain stumbled upon the start-up’s idea when the duo interacted with families at malls and shopping centres, and asked parents about how they provided money to their children. “We realised that 80-90% were giving cash to their children, and thought this would be an interesting problem to solve,” says Taneja.

So, how does it work? Once a parent signs up on FamPay’s app, they can complete the KYC process and then invite their teenager onto the platform. As soon as the children sign up, parents can transfer money through the app which can then be used for making purchases and payments. Conversely, the account can also be set up by the teen, but that process will require parental consent. Once the child starts using the app, parents can monitor their transactions and can also get them to save.

“Apart from the digital card available on the app, a physical card can also be requested. With a Aadhaar-based KYC process, the usage limit on the card is Rs.100,000 annually”, inform the co-founders. Launched in partnership with IDFC First Bank, FamPay can be used across RuPay payment network of merchants.

Understanding concerns on security, the team designed the FamCard with no numbers on it. “The card number and other details such as expiry date and CVV are stored securely within the FamPay app. So, there’s no fear of information loss,” says Taneja. Putting a double layer of security, the card details within the app can be only accessed with device lock systems like fingerprint, face ID, pattern lock or PIN.

Till date, the start-up has issued over 50,000 cards. The app and all transactions on it are free of cost. For the physical card, if requested, users have to pay Rs.500 as a one-time charge. The company also earns through the interchange fee on every card transaction. “To explore further revenue streams, we are focusing on building partnerships with brands that are relevant and attractive for teens, with an aim to creating a marketplace for families,” explains Jain.

Having raised $4.7 million in seed funding from Y Combinator, Venture Highway, Sequoia India and others, the founders hope to make FamPay, a teen’s best friend. But, it is no child’s play.