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Standard Chartered to launch open platform for India’s SMEs

Standard Chartered is to launch a standalone technology company in India to cater to the needs of its small and medium-sized enterprises.

The open platform will be available to clients in India later this year. The bank said: “It will leverage the rapidly evolving ecosystem of data sources and integrate with digital business solution providers. These solutions will include access to business loans, invoice/supply chain financing, logistics, commercial insurance and skilled resources, among others.”

This initiative is being launched under SC Ventures, the innovation, investment ,and ventures unit of Standard Chartered, which has been established in Bengaluru

Nitin Mittal has been appointed as chief executive officer. He reports that beta tests have been completed and the platform will facilitate its first transactions in the second quarter of 2019. At the time of the launch, SC Ventures intends to partner with Standard Chartered Investments and Loans Ltd, a non-banking financial company.

Huge opportunity

“There is a huge opportunity in India to enable millions of SMEs to realise their full potential,” said Zarin Daruwala, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, India. “This platform addresses a wide range of SME needs through a completely different model which simplifies the SME growth experience, while putting control at their fingertips.”

Alex Manson, global head of SC Ventures added: “Rewiring the DNA in banking is all about the business model. This venture lays the foundation for an open platform that will thrive on partnerships, leverage technology and data, and support communities of aspiring SMEs.”

Standard Chartered claims the new platform is one of the first to provide holistic solutions to SMEs in India and is also seeking to provide a data-driven and ‘digital only’ experience with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

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