India’s largest bank, State Bank of India just joined digital invoice discounting marketplace – Invoicemart, as a financier. This move is expected to help in unlocking working capital for more than 1,400 MSMEs that are a part of the platform.
Launched in 2017, Invoicemart, a TReDS (Trade Receivable Discounting System) platform is a digital invoice discounting marketplace by A. TREDS Ltd, a joint venture between Axis Bank Ltd and B2B e- commerce company mjunction services ltd.
Invoicemart platform which connects MSME suppliers (sellers) and their corporate buyers to multiple financiers, and has crossed Rs. 2,020 crores in business volumes since its launch. This platform enables discounting of invoices of the MSME sellers raised on large buyers, through a transparent bidding mechanism that ensures financing of receivables at competitive market rates. The platform allows MSME suppliers to avail finance quickly and at competitive interest rates which in turn helps increase their working capital efficiency without impacting their relationship with buyers.
MSME driven initiatives like Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) have enabled working capital finance to MSMEs and is expected to become a major channel of financing for the MSME segment. Currently, Invoicemart has 22 financiers on the platform, which is expected to grow to 25 by the end of February 2019.
Narayanan Sadanandan – Chief General Manager (SME and Supply Chain Finance), State Bank of India, commented on the association, “Elevating the MSME segment has been a prime focus at State Bank of India, and TReDS has been substantial in helping this segment with easy financing options. We have taken several steps to ensure timely delivery of credit to MSMEs through other initiatives and this association is another step towards the process of digitisation.”
Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Kalyan Basu, CEO & MD, A.TReDS Ltd. said, “We are glad that India’s largest and oldest bank – State Bank of India has come on-board the Invoicemart platform. State Bank of India has had a huge franchise in supporting MSME financial inclusion and this association will not only help with formalising and digitising the MSME lending process but will also pave a way for MSMEs to find cheap financing options in a transparent and easy manner via TReDs.”
MSMEs are the cornerstone of the Indian economy as they are pivotal in creating a large number of employment at meagre cost of capital in comparison to larger industries. With the recent announcement on 2% subvention for MSMEs for loans upto Rs 1 crore in Budget 2019 along with the extension of GeM platform to support domestic services and trade, the government has tried to support this segment immensely. A number of scheduled commercial banks and public sector banks have registered themselves on the Trade Receivables Electronic Discounting System (TReDS) platform since the positive push from the government in 2018. This has helped pave a way towards MSME inclusion through a transparent bidding mechanism that ensures faster financing at competitive market rates.
Mr. Basu further explained, “Our team understands the challenges faced by MSMEs in obtaining working capital finance and the systemic gaps in the financial ecosystem. With the help of technology, it is our endeavour to bridge the gap that has prevented institutional lenders from reaching out to small businesses, primarily due to high cost of acquisition through the offline channels.”