Imagine a world where your business current account was your accounting software. Imagine not having to chase payments with UTR numbers, where payments auto-reconcile, and accounting is something that happens automatically as you do your business.
Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd (Open), a neobanking fintech startup has partnered with ICICI Bank to launch an integrated payments platform for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) customers. This integration enables ICICI Bank’s current account holders to securely connect their bank account with the ‘Open’ platform and undertake an array of digital transactions like invoicing, online payments, vendor payouts as well as accounting through a single platform. The integration also enables businesses to automatically reconcile banking and accounting entries to generate profit & loss statements, balance sheets and expense reports, thereby offering MSMEs with better insights into their financial transactions.
This partnership between ICICI Bank and ‘Open’ will enable MSME customers to experience ‘connected banking’ which helps businesses to eliminate the need for manual data entry, automate banking functions like invoicing, payments and reconciliation on a single platform as well as facilitate payments to vendors/suppliers directly through the accounting platform.
Talking about the partnership, Mr. Pankaj Gadgil, General Manager and Head of Business Banking, ICICI Bank said, “ICICI Bank has always pioneered in bringing digital innovations to provide world-class banking experience to its customers. In keeping with this legacy, we are delighted to partner with Open Financial Technologies to bring forth an integrated solution which aims to offer MSME customers with unparalleled convenience. This is a testament to our constant effort at promoting the concept of ‘connected banking’ wherein we aim to bring together various banking functions like raising invoices, making payments and reconciliation on a common platform. We believe, this proposition will help businesses to draw deeper insights about their financial transactions, thereby helping them take business decisions in a seamless manner.”
According to Anish Achuthan, Co-founder & CEO, Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Limited, “Banking and accounting is closely connected with each other; however, the current banking and accounting systems are separate resulting in business owners having to spend a lot of time and effort in getting their finances right. We are excited to partner with ICICI Bank, which is one of the leaders in business banking, to tap on their expertise and wide network to helps thousands of small businesses automate their finances”.
As a part of the alliance, Open will create awareness about the integrated platform to prospective SMEs digitally. The service will also be available to existing current account customers of ICICI Bank who can access the platform through their Corporate Internet Banking portal. Businesses can access the platform by registering on the Open website, while existing ICICI Bank users can easily connect their bank account to the Open platform through their internet banking portal.
Benefits of the Open–ICICI Bank integration:
- Businesses can undertake banking transactions such as invoicing, payments and re-conciliation through a single platform
- Facilitates auto-reconciliation of bank transfers, cash and cheque payments
- Allows bulk pay-outs within a few minutes.
- Enables online payments through an integrated payment gateway
- It helps in automatically categorizing payments into income and expense categories
- Offers access to an integrated expense management tool that offers insights into financial transactions
Founded in 2017 the startup processes over 730 crores in transactions and adds about 7500 SMEs every month on the platform. Open aims to serve 1 lakh businesses and process USD1 Billion in transactions by 2019. The startup is founded by serial entrepreneurs Anish Achuthan, Mabel Annie Chacko and Ajeesh Achuthan along with former TaxiForSure CFO, Deena Jacob.
Anish and Mabel have previously built fintech startups Zwitch (Acquired by Citrus Pay), Neartivity Wireless and Cashnxt. They have also previously been a part of the senior management team at PayU India and Citrus Pay.
In May this year, Open raised Pre-Series A Funding from Recruit group Japan, Unicorn India Ventures, ISME ACE and the initial investors include Amrish Rau (CEO & MD, Payu India), Jitendra Gupta (MD, PayU India) and Apremaya Radhakrishnan (Co-founder, TaxiforSure).