ICICI Bank introduces digital solutions for exporters


ICICI Bank announced the launch of digital solutions for exporters, a comprehensive set of banking and value-added services delivered through a single platform. The suite of solutions, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the sector, digitises the whole export life-cycle, from market identification through export finance and foreign currency services to receipt of export incentives. The programme intends to streamline exporters’ journeys by decongesting present time-consuming manual procedures, greatly enhancing their operational efficiency.

The suite of products also includes industry-first features like immediate disbursement of Export Packing Credit (Insta EPC) and Trade APIs. Insta EPC provides rapid export finance, whilst Trade APIs allow for the easy execution of export transactions directly from exporters’ ERP systems, delivering better convenience.

Speaking about the initiative, Sumit Sanghai, Head- Large Clients Group, ICICI Bank, said, “Over the years, exports have been an integral part of India’s growth. India’s overall exports in FY 2022 grew by 36% to over USD 670 billion from a year-ago period. It is estimated to touch USD 2 trillion by 2030. ICICI Bank intends to support the growth of exporters with an all-encompassing suite of digital solutions. The set of solutions enables large, medium and emerging companies to undertake their export transactions online, anywhere and anytime. We believe that this initiative will bring in unmatched efficiency in the entire export lifecycle across industries and act as a catalyst in their business growth.”

The key services and offerings of digital solutions for exporters are:

Insta EPC: Exporters that have a partnership with the bank will benefit from the convenience of Export Packing Credit (EPC) promptly and digitally. This service is accessible via trade online, the bank’s primary digital platform for export-import transactions. Insta EPC permits fast credit disbursement in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the industry standard of a few working days. This facility provides considerable benefits to exporters because it provides rapid access to money for same-day use, improving operational efficiency.

Trade accounts: The solution provides foreign currency accounts, namely the Exchange Earners’ Foreign Currency Account (EEFC). This is a current account that allows exporters to keep their foreign currency revenues without having to convert them to local currency. This account feature assists exporters in lowering their foreign exchange transaction costs. It also provides specialised Current Accounts, such as the One Globe Trade Account (OGTA), for export and import transactions.

Paperless exports solutions: The Bank’s digital solutions, such as e-Softex (for IT/ITeS exporters) and e-DOCs, have facilitated exporters’ journeys at various stages by providing digital document submission, settlement, and reconciliation of export invoices, among other things. It provides the significant convenience of reducing the current industry practice of a few days to near real-time for these transactions. Exporters can claim their export incentives more quickly thanks to simpler digital solutions.

Foreign exchange solution: To gain flexibility and transparency in booking rates, exporters can book currency agreements over the phone or online through digital platforms.

Digital Letter of Credit facility (e-LC): Exporters can use the e-LC service, which serves as a digital repository and makes LC available in real-time for trade term verification.

Electronic Bills of Lading (e-BL): To ease the end-to-end digital movement of trade documents around the world, the Bank has engaged with major e-BL service providers. This results in more efficient working capital management by lowering turnaround time from 8-10 days to a couple of days.

Value-added services: Trade Emerge, the Bank’s one-stop platform that offers a fully digital suite of various banking and beyond banking services for businesses, can provide value-added services to exporters. Through a combination of services provided by trusted alliance partners, the platform enables an end-to-end journey from business incorporation to regulatory standards, partner discovery, logistics, and shipment tracking.

Trade APIs: The bank offers trade APIs, a future-ready industry-first solution, for the seamless handling of export bills. The range of APIs includes remittances, letters of credit, and bank guarantees. The trade API solution provides the exporters with a simplified ‘Do-It-Yourself (DIY)’ experience anytime anywhere. With APIs in place, exporters can initiate transactions via their ERPs directly with the bank, thereby enhancing productivity.

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