Technology for MSMEs: Private sector lender, ICICI Bank on Thursday launched an upgraded and comprehensive version of its InstaBIZ app to cater to its micro, small and medium (MSME) customers and non-ICICI Bank MSME customers as well through enhanced banking and value-added services (VAS). MSMEs having accounts with other banks would have ‘guest’ access to the revised app to avail services such as InstaOD Plus to sanction a paperless overdraft facility of up to Rs 25 lakh. While ICICI Bank’s MSME customers would be able to activate the OD into their current account instantly, other banks’ MSMEs would have to open a current account with the bank digitally through video KYC to access the service.
ICICI Bank has also tied up with various partners to offer different services to its MSME customers and of other banks as well. VAS by 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) would be available on InstaBIZ, the bank said.
“Over 10 lakh MSMEs are already using InstaBIZ (current version). We are compounding almost at 50 per cent per annum. So, we are doubling every year. However, that’s a wrong way to put it because actually, it is accelerating due to a network effect as when one MSME uses it, the second sees it and also starts using it. The network effect starts off slowly but curves quite sharply,” Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said in response to a question on InstaBIZ user growth by TheSpuzz Online.
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MSMEs would also be able to access ICICI Bank’s digital platform, Trade Emerge for trade services like letter of credit, bank guarantee, trade credit, trade transactions etc. Moreover, individual businesses including merchants, retailers, and professionals including doctors and lawyers etc., would be able to accept payments through UPI and cards on the app. Also, VAS such as the instant settlement of payments, creation of an online store for their businesses in 30 minutes, and applying for a voice-messaging device that confirms the receipt of the payments would be available through the app.
The new offerings by ICICI Bank to MSMEs were based on recognising the need for setting up a common platform to offer various services required by a growing business. “We are seeing MSMEs investing a lot in technologies in various business functions,” said Pankaj Gadgil, Head – Self Employed Segment, SME & Merchant Ecosystem, ICICI Bank during the launch of the app.
Gadgil said a very important insight that came from studying MSMEs was to provide a single platform that would allow ICICI Bank to take care of their needs from transaction to compliance, networking, lending, etc. “These were the insights that helped in creating and improving the digital ecosystem for MSMEs,” he added.
For its existing MSME customers specifically, ICICI Bank announced enhanced services such as onboarding on its Trade Online platform for their requirements related to trade and foreign exchange transactions. MSMEs would also be able to pay GST and apply for the point-of-sale device. MSMEs can also set various reminders based on their profile. “For instance, a customer with the 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,” the bank said.
ICICI Bank in its Q4 FY22 results had reported a 34 per cent year-on-year and 11 per cent sequential growth on March 31, 2022, in its SME business comprising borrowers with a turnover of less than Rs 250 crore.