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SBI partners HUL for supply chain financing

Mayur.Shetty@timesgroup.com
Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) has partnered with Hindustan Unilever (HUL) to offer an instant paperless overdraft facility of up to Rs 50,000 to retailers of the FMCG multinational for their billings with distributors. The bank will also offer financing facilities to the company’s distributors.
The retailers will first have to register on the company’s Shikhar app — a digital ordering platform. They will also need to download SBI’s Yono application. SBI has integrated its systems and processes with HUL in such a way that the bank’s software will instantly process credit requests made through its Yono app.
Separately, SBI will install point-of-sale machines with the merchants and also acquire them for acceptance of payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). By acquiring the merchant account, SBI will have an improved visibility on the retailer’s cash flows and take better credit decisions for extending small loans under the government’s Mudra scheme.
“SBI has always been working towards serving the last-mile customers and similar is the case with HUL, which caters to its customers in the remotest part of the country. 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,” said SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar.
Kumar said that this was part of the bank’s strategy to leverage relationships with large corporates who do not need credit for themselves. The bank would look at extending credit and service to the stakeholders of the corporate, including credit for the supply chain. Speaking at the event, MD Dinesh Kumar Khar, who has been recommended by the Banks Board Bureau as a successor for Kumar, said that the bank has created a corporate solutions group to provide solutions to companies.
According to HUL chairman Sanjiv Mehta, the timing of the partnership could not have been better as this addresses one of the key needs for retailers and distributors, given the economic fallout of the pandemic.

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