India’s Axis Bank, which has strengthened its position in the global corporate banking and payments space, is offering a new service to SME clients.
An announcement Wednesday (July 19) said Axis is rolling out Invoicemart, a digital invoice discounting platform for small businesses. The bank said its first set of transactions on the platform has already been successfully completed.
Developed via a joint venture of Axis Bank and B2B eCommerce company mjunction, A. TReDS, Invoicemart offers supplier SMEs the option to tell invoices via a bidding process, with the funds that are provided to small businesses also qualifying for priority sector lending benefits for the banks.
“Axis Bank has got a very strong MSME franchise and launching of A. TReDS [Trade Receivable Discounting System] is a reiteration of our commitment to bring [a] cost effective and convenient mode of financing to our MSME customers,” said Axis Bank Deputy Managing Director V. Srinivasan in a statement. “I am sure the launching of A. TReDS will provide a further impetus for growth for SME customers, a key engine of growth in the Indian economy.”
“We believe that TReDS will change the landscape of financing of MSMEs in India as well as factoring business,” said Invoicemart Managing Director and CEO Kalyan Basu in another statement. “This initiative will benefit all three participants: the financier, buyer and the MSME seller. The encouragement from the buyer, seller and financier community has further strengthened our resolve to make the game-changing initiative of TReDS a truly successful venture.”
According to reports, the TReDS initiative is supported by the Reserve Bank of India and the broader government as it looks to improve access to capital for the nation’s SMEs.
Last year, Axis Bank became one of two Indian banks to be the first to join SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) initiative. Earlier this year, the FI revealed plans to use Ripple’s blockchain technology to facilitate cross-border transactions.