How banks, start-ups are helping consumers deal with the COVID-19 crisis

By: |
April 22, 2020 4:38 PM

There are many banks and organizations, which are trying to help people amid the lockdown, and are doing their bit by joining hands with various state governments to offer solutions. They are rolling out special features and benefits and have launched innovative products and solutions to help ease the socio-economic impact of the crisis.

Emergency Line of Credit, CELC, startups in covid 19, banks, credit line, coronavirus, Zoomcar, Haptik, Staqu, Coutloot, union bank of india, The company launched this innovative solution to ease essential mobility during the lockdown period. The technology involves no human intervention while checking the visitors which makes the process safe and secure.

In view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, various measures are being taken by the government to control its spread, including the nationwide lockdown. Thankfully, there are many banks and organizations, which are trying to help people amid the lockdown, and are doing their bit by joining hands with various state governments to offer solutions.

They are rolling out special features and benefits and have launched innovative products and solutions to help ease the socio-economic impact of the crisis. Here is a look at some of them:

1. Emergency Line of Credit by banks

Various banks are helping their customers, especially borrowers, during this difficult time. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, along with the 3-month moratorium offered by all banks, various banks have launched the COVID Emergency Line of Credit (CELC) Scheme for their existing customers. For instance, the CELC offered by Union Bank of India will provide an additional working capital facility to all standard accounts, in order to provide financial relief to borrowers whose operations are impacted by this outbreak and they experience liquidity mismatch in their day-to-day operations.

CELC will be an additional working capital facility for all standard accounts as of 1st February 2020. Under CELC, with a repayment period of 36 months including maximum moratorium of 12 months, a maximum of 10 per cent of the existing working capital limit will be provided. This credit facility is available at NIL margin with a competitive rate of interest (8 per cent fixed rate of interest i.e. 1-year MCLR as on date). All MSME/Agriculture borrowers are eligible for loans up to Rs 10 crore and others up to Rs 50 crore.

2. Zoomcar

Like any other company, Zoomcar has also grounded its fleet in accordance with the government’s shutdown order. However, the company is utilizing select vehicles to ensure emergency mobility for the frontline workforce, including bankers, healthcare professionals, and delivery executives. Zoomcar is partnering with various organizations that are considered essential in this lockdown period to ensure their employees are provided a safe commuting option. The service ensures these partnering organizations are able to lower the barriers for essential personnel to come in and serve the critical day to day and emergency needs of the citizens.

3. Haptik

The Government of India (GoI) has launched a WhatsApp chatbot, ‘MyGov Corona Helpdesk’, developed and implemented by Haptik (an AI platform). The chatbot is well equipped to resolve FAQs such as precautionary measures, helpline numbers, affected cases in the region, symptoms, correct and incorrect facts, Government advisories, etc. and is equipped with verified data from the Ministry of Health, pertaining to the novel coronavirus.

4. Staqu

Staqu (Gurgaon-based tech start-up) has come up with a new Thermal Camera under its video analytics platform, JARVIS. This will alert the system of anyone with a body temperature of above 37°C and examines heat signatures directly through the cameras, enabling authorities to identify and further inspect suspected Virus Carriers, especially in crowded places like Airports, Railway Stations, etc.

The company launched this innovative solution to ease essential mobility during the lockdown period. The technology involves no human intervention while checking the visitors which makes the process safe and secure.

5. Coutloot

Coutloot is a social e-commerce start-up that recently introduced an ‘Essentials’ service category on its platform. The new category will leverage CoutLoot’s offline seller network to safely deliver and pick essential goods sold through its platform. The company has listed several grocery shops, medical stores and vegetable vendors on its platform, allowing consumers within a 1-3 kilometer radius to place orders and pick them up from the store or get them home delivered. In case essential items are out of stock or are not available, CoutLoot claims to notify nearby sellers, who in turn can chat with them and fulfill the order.

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