Standard Chartered Launches Digital SME Platform in India

Standard Chartered announced on Thursday it is set to launch an open platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India to provide access to a range of financial and business solutions. Standard Chartered reported that this is one of the disruptive business ventures being launched under SC Ventures, the banking group’s innovation, investment and ventures unit. It was revealed:

“This technology platform will be one of the first to provide holistic solutions to SMEs in India, where this sector contributes approximately 30% of GDP and 45% of exports*. It will leverage the rapidly evolving ecosystem of data sources and integrate with digital business solution providers. These solutions will include access to business loans, invoice/supply chain financing, logistics, commercial insurance and skilled resources, among others. The platform will provide a data-driven ‘digital only’ experience to SMEs, supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

Standard Chartered also reported that the beta testing of the digital client journey has been completed and the platform will facilitate its first transactions in the second quarter of 2019 and at the time of launch, for financing it intends to partner with Standard Chartered Investments and Loans Ltd (SCILL), a non-banking financial company.  Zarin Daruwala, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, India stated:

“There is a huge opportunity in India to enable millions of SMEs to realize their full potential. This platform addresses a wide range of SME needs through a completely different model which simplifies the SME growth experience while putting control at their fingertips.”

Alex Manson, Global Head of SC Ventures, added:

“Rewiring the DNA in banking is all about the business model. This venture lays the foundation for an open platform that will thrive on partnerships, leverage technology and data, and support communities of aspiring SMEs.”

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