ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN) announced the launch of digital solutions for exporters, “a comprehensive set of banking and value-added services on a single platform.”
In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the industry, the suite of solutions “digitize the entire export life-cycle– from discovery of export markets, export finance, foreign exchange services to receipt of export incentives.”
The initiative aims “to simplify the journey of exporters by decongesting the current time-intensive manual procedures, thereby significantly improving their operational efficiency.”
The set of solutions also “offer industry-first facilities such as instant disbursal of Export Packing Credit (Insta EPC) and Trade APIs.” Insta EPC “provides export finance instantly, while Trade APIs enable smooth handling of export transactions directly from exporters’ ERP systems, thereby providing greater convenience.”
“Over the years, exports have been an integral part of India’s growth. India’s overall exports in FY 2022 grew by 36% to over USD 670 billion from a year-ago period. It is estimated to touch USD 2 trillion by 2030. ICICI Bank intends to support the growth of exporters with an all-encompassing suite of digital solutions. The set of solutions enables large, medium and emerging companies to undertake their export transactions online, anywhere and anytime. We believe that this initiative will bring in unmatched efficiency in the entire export lifecycle across industries and act as catalyst in their business growth.”
The key services and offerings of the digital solutions for exporters are:
- Insta EPC: Exporters, having relationship with the Bank, will get the convenience of Export Packing Credit (EPC) instantly and digitally. This facility can be availed through Trade Online, the Bank’s flagship digital platform for export-import transactions. Insta EPC enables instant disbursal of credit in a matter of minutes compared to the industry practice of a few working days. This facility offers significant advantage to exporters as it gives access to funds instantaneously for same day use, enhancing their operational efficiency.
- Trade accounts: The solution offers foreign currency accounts namely Exchange Earners’ Foreign Currency Account (EEFC). This is a Current Account that allows exporters to hold their foreign currency earnings in the account, without converting it to the local currency. This feature of the account helps exporters to reduce their foreign exchange transaction cost. It also offers specialised Current Account like One Globe Trade Account (OGTA) for export and import related transactions.
- Paperless exports solutions: The Bank’s digital solutions like e-Softex (catering to IT/ITeS exporters) and e-DOCs have simplified exporters’ journey across various stages by offering digital filing of documents, settlement and reconciliation of export invoices, among others. It brings in the significant convenience of reduced turn-around time for these transactions from the existing industry practice of a few days to near real time. The simplified digital solutions enable exporters to claim their export incentives faster.
- Foreign exchange solution: Exporters can book forex deals over phone or online through digital platforms to get flexibility and transparency in booking rates.
- Digital Letter of Credit facility (e-LC): The exporters can avail e-LC facility, which acts as a digital repository as well as makes LC available on real-time basis, for verification of trade terms.
- Electronic Bills of Lading (e-BL): The Bank has partnered with leading e-BL service providers to facilitate end-to-end digital movement of trade documents across the world. This results in efficient working capital management by reducing turnaround time to a couple of days from existing industry practice of 8-10 days.
- Value added services: Exporters can avail value-added services from Trade Emerge, the Bank’s one-stop platform that offers a comprehensive digital suite of various banking and beyond banking services for companies. The platform facilitates an end-to-end journey from business incorporation, regulatory guidelines, partner discovery, logistics and cargo tracking through a blend of services provided by trusted alliance partners.
- Trade APIs: The Bank offers Trade APIs, a future-ready industry-first solution, for seamless handling of export bills. The range of APIs include Remittances, Letters of Credit and Bank Guarantees. The Trade API solution provides the exporters with a simplified ‘Do-It-Yourself (DIY)’ experience anytime anywhere. With APIs in place, exporters can initiate transactions via their ERPs directly with the Bank, thereby enhancing productivity.
As covered, ICICI Bank Ltd claims it is “a leading private sector bank in India.” The Bank’s consolidated total assets “stood at 14,88,674 crore at September 30, 2022.”