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SBI inks pact with Amazon for payment, commerce solutions


Mumbai: State Bank of India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with e-commerce player Amazon to develop payment and commerce solutions for customers and small businesses.

“Amazon is a very large company in the digital commerce space. We have a very large group of customers who could benefit by getting connected with this platform. The idea of the MoU is that we can try and give customers a good experience in both buying and selling,” SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters here today.

She said the bank is working on ways to enrich customers’ payment experience and opening up the windows of e-commerce to its SME customers through this tie-up.

Amazon India Vice President and Country Manager Amit Agarwal said, “In SBI, we have a fantastic partner whom customers and businesses trust through long-standing relationships, sometimes over generations. Moreover, SBI shares Amazon’s philosophy of building customer trust and investing for the long term.”

The SBI, country’s largest lender, will also provide loans to SME customers who supply products to Amazon to help them increase their operations.

“Amazon has lot of SMEs who sell products on Amazon. Their products are very good but they are not able to scale because they don’t have that kind of financing. Can we look at something like that to see how they can scale as we are into the business of financing,” Bhattacharya said.

The bank may also look at selling its financial products on Amazon in near future, she said, without giving further details.

She said the bank is open for similar kinds of tie-ups with other e-commerce players.

When asked about his views on media report about big retailers demanding level playing field in FDI norms as given to e-commerce players, Agarwal said, “There are many sellers on our platform which are offline players and are of different sizes. Our focus is how do we offer massive selection and great prices to consumers all over India and give them fast and reliable delivery.

“These kinds of innovations are only possible because of partnerships. So, I don’t even understand that question because I am giving ideas where offline sellers are thriving on our platforms.”

Bhattacharya said when a sector is growing there is a need for investment to help it grow.

“Therefore, that investment has to come from somewhere, whether it comes from outside or within India. But the fact of the matter is that investment has to be there,” she said.

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