ICICI Bank Introduces India’s “First” Comprehensive Digital Ecosystem for MSMEs

ICICI Bank (BSE: ICICIBANK, NYSE:IBN) announced that it has introduced India’s “first” comprehensive digital ecosystem for all MSMEs in the country, “including customers of other banks.”

The ecosystem “has three pillars: i) enhanced banking services for existing customers, ii) a bouquet of banking services to MSMEs, who are customers of other banks, iii) a whole range of value-added services for all.”

The ecosystem, which offers an array of industry-first solutions, brings forth “a significant shift from the existing industry practice where banks offer services only to their customers.”

As noted in an update shared with CI, anyone can “avail of the benefits of ICICI Bank’s digital solutions by simply downloading the new version of the InstaBIZ app, a super app for businesses, from Google Play Store or Apple App Store, or at the Bank’s Corporate Internet Banking (CIB) platform.”

Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said:

“We at ICICI Bank always believe that the MSME segment forms the backbone of the Indian economy. It has been our philosophy to enhance ‘ease of doing business’ for MSMEs and become partners in their growth.”

Baghchi added:

“We have found out from our research that MSMEs understand the benefits that technology brings in. They are keen to adopt digital solutions to simplify their way of doing business, so that they can focus more on growth. MSMEs also need a holistic platform which meets all their requirements. Further, we believe that the benefits of our products and services should not be restricted only to our customers; those who bank with others should also have the choice to experience them.”

Based on these insights, the firm has launched “a comprehensive digital ecosystem with open architecture by bundling banking services with value-added offerings to empower MSMEs, estimated to be around six crore.”

The firm’s management further noted that they “believe that these solutions for MSMEs will improve efficiency and boost their business.”

MSMEs, who are customers of other banks, can avail of a host of services from the Bank’s digital ecosystem “by logging in as a ‘Guest’ in the new version of InstaBIZ.”

The most important in the list of these services “is sanction of instant and paperless overdraft facility up to Rs. 25 lakh.”

Named ‘InstaOD Plus’, the industry-first proposition “enables customers of any bank to avail of an overdraft instantly through a few clicks either on the new version of InstaBIZ or CIB.”

Customers of ICICI Bank can ‘activate the OD into their current account instantly while customers of other banks can do so after opening of a current account with the Bank digitally through Video KYC.”

Another important facility being offered “is instant opening of a current account digitally.”

The end-to-end paperless process “leverages the Bank’s advanced APIs that auto fill the account opening form and validate PAN/ Aadhaar number instantly and allows opening of account through Video KYC.”

Additionally, to further accelerate growth and efficiency for MSMEs, InstaBIZ now ‘offers a range of value-added services to MSMEs, both customers and non-customers of the Bank. ICICI Bank has tied up with various partners to eliminate the need of MSMEs to coordinate with multiple experts to fulfill their varied requirement.”

These partners “include India Filings (for business compliances and registrations), IndiaMART (listing of business), Airtel (connectivity and business communications), ClearTax (tax filing and advisory), Zoho Books (accounting solutions), Global Linker (business networking and digital store management), Sherlock.ai (digital marketing and data analytics).”

MSMEs can ‘get exclusive services of these experts with instant onboarding on their platforms.”

Further, MSMEs, both customers and non-customers of the Bank, can also “access the Bank’s digital platform, Trade Emerge, for comprehensive trade services like letter of credit, bank guarantee, trade credit, trade transactions and many others.”

Additionally through InstaBIZ, merchants, retailers and professionals like doctors and lawyers etc can “instantly accept payments through UPI and cards.”

They can generate QR code and even digitally “apply for Point of Sale (POS) device.”

They can also “avail value added services like instant settlement of payments, transform their shops into an online store in just 30 minutes, and apply for a voice-messaging device that confirms the receipt of the payments.”

The digital ecosystem “offers enhanced services to the existing customers of the Bank.”

They can now “experience seamless onboarding on the Bank’s Trade Online platform for their requirement related to trade and foreign exchange transactions.”

They can also “pay GST easily and digitally, apply for POS device, among others.”

Armed with robust technology and embedded analytics, the new version of InstaBIZ app “gives a variety of reminders based on the customer’s profile.”

For instance, a customer with propensity to pay GST “will get intuitive nudges for GST payments before the last date of payment; an exporter/importer will get a nudge requesting activation of Trade Online; and a merchant will get a pop-up for applying POS device digitally.”

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