Pune: Sudhakar Reddy has been a seller on Amazon India for a long time but sourcing loans to grow his business had been challenging. Further, due to his limited credit history- lenders asked him for heavy documentation and offered very high interest rates, which made it very difficult for him to get loans. This new initiative has come as a boost for his business and has been helpful to buy more inventory in time for upcoming Diwali season. In comparison to industry standards, this loan facility was provided with much lighter documentation and within a few working days, whereas it usually takes around one month. Most importantly, the rate of interest was very low, helping him maintain margin on his business too!
To enable many more sellers like Sudhakar Reddy, India’s leading e-commerce giant, Amazon.in today announced an alliance with the country’s 2nd largest public sector bank, Bank of Baroda to extend loans to its sellers. Under this alliance, Bank of Baroda will support micro, small & medium businesses on Amazon.in to get fast and easy access to working capital at highly competitive interest rates in a short span of 3 to 5 days. In July, Amazon piloted its Micro-Lending Facilitation Program in exclusive association with Bank of Baroda. Out of total sanctions under this program, 40% of the beneficiaries are new to credit. With the initial success of the micro-lending facilitation program, this association will now be expanded with Bank of Baroda offering ECOM loans (BEL) up to Rs 25 lakh to more sellers that have been selling on Amazon India marketplace and performing consistently.
In India, unsecured loans of INR 1, 00,000-INR 25, 00,000 have very low approval rates and the small-scale businesses get loans at high annual interest rates between 18% – 30% with a processing time of up to 30 days. In addition, small businesses have to go through heavy documentation and due diligence to get loan approvals. Under this program, with the help of Bank of Baroda’s simplified process, eligible sellers on Amazon.in will be able to get a line of credit facility at annual interest rates of 10.45% – 11.5% with lighter documentation and fast loan approval. Through this overdraft facility, sellers will get the flexibility to expand their business without having to worry about EMIs and repayments and can get the online sanction even without visiting the bank.
Speaking on the partnership, Mr. P.S. Jayakumar, MD & CEO, Bank of Baroda said, “We clearly understand the specific needs of SMEs for ecommerce business and are proud to partner with Amazon India to provide comprehensive banking solutions to their 2 lakh+ seller base. To address the e-commerce seller specific pain points of no credit history, weak financial history, lack of adequate documentation, we designed the Baroda ECOM loan product (BEL) which moves the lending paradigm from Balance Sheet to Flow based.”
Talking about the Program, Mr. Gopal Pillai, Director & GM, Seller Services, Amazon India said “Through our constant engagement with sellers, we realized that the lack of financial resources can hinder the growth of small businesses as they scale up which can impact their expansion, especially ahead of spike sale events during Diwali. With this association with Bank of Baroda, we aim to help them overcome the barrier of access to capital and enable them to grow their business on Amazon.in and make the best of the festive season. We have made the end to end process quick and convenient allowing our sellers to focus on their core business while we take care of providing them with hassle-free financial solutions. Like always, we work seller backwards and try and resolve all their hurdles to ensure a seamless selling experience.”
Sellers on Amazon.in will receive pre-approved indicative offers from Bank of Baroda on their dashboard on Amazon.in’s Seller Central outlining the loan amount they are eligible for and the associated interest rate and service fee. They can then fill out a quick 10 minute application form. Sellers will receive the final loan approval decision within 2-3 working days of submitting relevant documents online. Sellers will be able to use their sales disbursements on the Amazon marketplace to directly repay the loan. Bank of Baroda has developed the innovative product BEL based on alternative profiling basis surrogate data points such as ID, contact-ability, intent, ability, stability using alternative social media data. Bank of Baroda simplified profiling is further augmented by bureau analysis and digital analysis of bank statements.
Currently, loans are offered on an invite-only basis for the marketplace sellers who qualify against various criteria including account tenure, seller’s selling history (which takes into account a minimum tenure, and minimum sales volume), customer feedback and compliance with Amazon and Bank of Baroda’s policies and guidelines.
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