The State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced MSME Sahaj, a new initiative designed to cater to the working capital requirements of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This web-based solution is aimed at facilitating fast and convenient invoice financing for MSMEs.

Interpreting MSME Sahaj’s utility

According to the bank, MSME Sahaj can swiftly approve loans against GST-registered invoices of up to 1 lakh in less than 15 minutes, utilising entirely digital processes. This program is intended to assist even those MSMEs that have not previously utilised credit facilities from SBI, provided they are sole proprietors with a satisfactory current account. Current SBI MSME customers can conveniently access MSME Sahaj via the Yono SBI mobile app.

The product utilises a machine learning model and authentic data from sources such as GSTIN, customers’ bank statements, and the CIC database. The product aims to offer readily accessible short-term credit for working capital requirements to micro-SME units operating under the GST regime. It will be accessible digitally through Yono to SBI’s existing customers, effectively resolving liquidity challenges for MSMEs and enabling instant cash flow access.

The introduction of MSME Sahaj marks a pivotal advancement for both SBI and the MSME lending sector in India. Here’s why:

  • Quicker capital access: Traditional loan procedures can be slow and burdensome for MSMEs. With MSME Sahaj’s 15-minute approval window, cash flow for MSMEs can notably improve, enabling them to capitalise on opportunities and address immediate requirements swiftly.
  • Targeting the underserved: SBI’s focus on non-credit customers aims to enhance financial inclusion for MSMEs, offering particular benefits to new businesses or those yet to establish robust credit histories.
  • Harnessing digital adoption: Utilising the Yono SBI platform ensures the entire process is convenient and accessible for MSMEs, in line with the growing trend of digital adoption in financial services.

Through prioritising these elements, the bank is establishing a fresh benchmark in MSME lending. Should it succeed, MSME Sahaj has the potential to serve as a blueprint for other lenders, bolstering the pivotal role of the MSME sector as a driver of the Indian economy.

A big boost to the MSME sector

Emphasising MSME Sahaj’s focus on non-credit customers underscores its potential to significantly broaden financial inclusion, this initiative has the potential to transform the landscape for small businesses that face challenges in securing traditional loans due to their limited credit history.

Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI, said, “SBI is committed to setting new industry benchmarks by introducing Digital Solutions in SME business loans, underscoring our constant efforts to drive innovation in MSME lending. Accentuating the same, MSME Sahaj is crafted with the vision of providing MSME units faster and easier finance using digital mode with a self-initiated end-to-end journey. MSME Sahaj is a result of our endeavour to integrate innovation and a customer-centric approach to revolutionize the MSME lending universe, reducing human intervention and enhancing the ease of doing business. The launch of MSME Sahaj aims to provide the fastest and most intuitive lending solution, further solidifying our position as the leading MSME lender in the country.”

Echoing this sentiment, Vinay Tonse, MD – Retail Banking & Operations, SBI emphasised, “To cater to MSME segment’s growth, Bank has been pioneering the combined potential of the MSME segment of the economy with disruptive digital innovation. The ‘MSME Sahaj – Digital Business Loans for Invoice Financing’ scheme will offer a unique proposition to our existing micro-SME units that are part of the GST regime to get immediate ‘on tap’ short-term credit for working capital requirement through digital mode on SBI’s Yono B.”

The introduction of this digital product represents a significant advancement in the digital lending landscape, in line with the country’s focus on empowering MSMEs over the next five years.

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