Money & Banking

SBI in tie-up to offer digital payment solutions to HUL retailers and distributors

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 01, 2020 Published on October 01, 2020

To offer retailers instant paperless overdraft facility of up to ₹50,000

State Bank of India (SBI) and Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which the bank will provide its digital payment and financing solutions to the FMCG company’s retailers and distributors.

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SBI 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.

To ensure that customers get the option of digital payments in smaller towns as well, the bank will install point of sale (PoS) machines at multiple HUL touchpoints across the country, SBI said in a statement.

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

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The digital payment and financing solution will be available initially in Mumbai and Bengaluru. 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, said SBI.

Wider focus

Rajnish Kumar, SBI Chairman, said his bank has shifted its focus within the large corporate loan segment to cater to the financing and payment needs of the entire ecosystem around corporates, including supply chain, logistics, etc.

This tie-up will give a push to MUDRA loans, he added. Under MUDRA loans, banks/microfinance institutions/NBFCs lend up to up to ₹10 lakh to micro units. They get refinance support from Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd.

Given that there have been cases of small retailers being turned away by branches, Kumar said, digital financing of retailers will ensure that this does not happen.

“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,” the SBI chief said.

Key constituents

Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and 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 for the country as it serves the needs of millions of consumers by making essential products available.

“This channel also plays a significant role in our economy by creating employment opportunities for a wide spectrum of people.”

Mehta underscored that it is HUL seeks to digitise and modernise this channel, support retailers with the right assortment of products and enable them to access timely and affordable funding.

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Published on October 01, 2020
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