The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), and e-commerce giant Amazon have signed an MoU for identifying potential areas of collaboration for payments and commerce solutions.
SBI has the largest SME base in the country. E-tailers are set to gain even if a percentage of SBI’s SME customers adopt the online platform for their businesses. The bank is looking to tap Amazon’s expertise in connecting potential buyers and sellers, along with efficient ways of sourcing raw materials for existing customers.
“We have our small and medium enterprise (SME), agri and retail customers who have great products, but they do not know how to sell and where to sell. They are also unaware of how and where to source their materials from in the best possible manner. Amazon has the ability to link millions of people,” said SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.
The bank indicated that, in collaboration with Amazon, it will look to create awareness among its customers about tapping the potential of online markets. “We already have a product called Amazon Global Selling where manufacturers in India can sell globally. I was indicating how that product, with the partnership with SBI, can do much more than what it can do today,” said Amit Agarwal, vice-president and country manager, Amazon India.
As far as the bank’s potential for business in this collaboration is concerned, SBI has set eyes on those SMEs that are already in the business of online selling, but may potentially require financing for scaling up their businesses.
“Amazon has a lot of SMEs who sell good products, but are not able to scale because they do not have that kind of financing. Can we look at that to see how we can help them scale? Because we are in the financing business. There are a thousand ways in which we can bring values to each others’ clients,” added Bhattacharya.
In anticipation of the e-commerce boom, SBI is also looking to sign MoUs with Snapdeal and PayPal.