Business

SBI, HUL unveil digital financing for small retailers

State Bank of India (SBI) and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) have unveiled a joint pilot project in Mumbai and Bengaluru to provide digital payment and financing solutions to small retailers. This partnership will help digitally empower HUL’s retailers and distributors through SBI’s customised online seamless solutions. Once successful, this project will be scaled up pan-India, covering millions of retailers dealing with HUL products. This is a first of kind experiment after collaboration involving 18 months and SBI will work with more corporates to solve their cash-handling and credit-related issues, the two prime problems faced by small retailers.

Under this collaboration, the bank will offer an instant, paperless overdraft facility of up to ₹50,000 to retailers for their billings with distributors as well as financing facilities to HUL’s distributors, SBI said.

To ensure customers get the option of digital payments in smaller towns as well, the bank will instal SBI point-of-sale machines at multiple HUL touchpoints across the country.

Additionally, SBI will provide UPI-based solutions to HUL retailers for hassle-free, safe and instant cashless payments to their dealers from HUL’s retailer application called Shikhar. SBI will also offer HUL employees the option of a corporate salary package via an SBI microsite hosted on HUL’s intranet.

The partnership between the two companies will catalyse the adoption of digital (UPI) payments among small-scale entrepreneurs and retailers in the farthest corners of the country and pave way for safer, cashless transactions.

Addressing a video conference, Rajnish Kumar, chairman, SBI said, “We are glad that SBI has got an opportunity to leverage its strong geographic presence and strategic digital solutions to simplify the financial needs of HUL’s customers, retailers, dealers, and employees.

Sanjiv Mehta, chairman & managing director, HUL said, "Our partnership with SBI is a push to provide digital solutions to important constituents of our ecosystem. General trade is a very important channel which plays a significant role in our economy. It is our endeavour to digitise and modernise this channel; support the retailers with the right assortment and enable them to access timely and affordable funding.”

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 12:26:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/sbi-hul-unveil-digital-financing-for-small-retailers/article32747224.ece

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