ICICI Bank has recently launched ‘merchant stack’ – a package of banking services and a solution that would enable small businesses transform their ‘physical store’ into a ‘digital store’ within half-an-hour. Besides payments and reconciliation solutions, other key features of the package are a zero-balance current account that could be opened remotely and credit facilities based on analytics of payments received through digital channels.
As per the data from RBI, the market for merchant services is expected to increase 45% to Rs. 31 lakh crore by financial year 2022, and ICICI Bank intends to grab a large share of this market with its new offering, it said.
According to Anup Bagchi, ED, ICICI Bank, the merchant stack is targeted at small businesses including grocers, super markets, retail store chains, online businesses and e-commerce firms. He also added that the bank was adopting a smart approach for increasing its small business exposure, given the current environment. As a result of the bank’s analytics-based approach, he stated that the credit costs in this business for the bank were a fraction of the 8% it was for the industry.
“There are over 2 crore merchants in the country with approximately $780 billion in value of transactions in 2020. Through these trying times of the pandemic, it is our endeavour to enable the merchants with a digital banking platform that will help them to continue to serve their customers,” he further added.
The merchant stack features include a new current account, two instant credit facilities based on point-of-sales transactions, and a digital store management facility to help merchants take their business online. The new product also offers value added services like alliances with major e-commerce and digital marketing platforms for expansion of online presence.