“With technology, businesses regardless of their size have access to best financial products”

Arun Poojari, Co-founder & CEO, Cashinvoice

Disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning are revolutionising operations around the BFSI sector. Shruti Jain of Elets News Network (ENN) recently interacted with Arun Poojari, Co-founder & CEO, Cashinvoice to understand their strategies to solve real problems in small businesses with AI/ML technology. Cashinvoice is a digital marketplace that unlocks supply chain finance for small businesses.

How is artificial intelligence accelerating growth for your business?

● Information asymmetry is one of the significant roadblocks to extending financial inclusion to small businesses. If lenders have more visibility of trade transactions on ground and patterns of such sales data, they can take calls to lend to MSMEs more confidently.

● At Cashinvoice, we use AI to analyse various data points including ledger data and filter creditworthy small businesses with good trade reputation on ground so lenders can underwrite with confidence backed by data.

● We are also exploring how AI can be leveraged in building continuous credit monitoring tools to flag early warning signs of deteriorating quality of asset books for lenders. This helps Financier be more aware about their portfolio on a regular basis and in turn helps them make more credit available for deserving businesses.

Also Read | “Investing in AI technology ensures business transformation”

● Over 30% of all businesses currently availing Cashinvoice services are those which had no access to formal credit previously.

How are AI applications optimising service quality to lend services to SMEs?

Currently, we use AI-driven applications to accelerate underwriting for SMEs with the help of digital scorecards. This helps speed-up the loan approval processes and enable small businesses to access timely working capital financing.

However, we see wider applications of AI throughout the loan lifecycle for SMEs.
Predictive data mining models can help estimate credit extensions and cross-sell opportunities to improve small business liquidity.

Most small businesses suffer from a funding mismatch. Given their restricted access to traditional lenders and financing offerings, they often struggle with cash flow mismatches by using long-term borrowings for short-term needs and vice versa. This can be mitigated by understanding the changing funding needs of small businesses and offering the right product offering at the right time. We are also building a model using AI to predict SME cashflow requirements and cross-sell suitable offers from our Financial Partners to help small businesses access capital when needed in the right form/ structure. This ensures the financial stability of small businesses while accessing sufficient capital to fuel growth.

What is your strategy for a supreme & powerful finance service provider in the competitive market through the use of AI/ML technology?

Our strategy is straightforward in the sense that we aim to solve real problems small businesses face by bringing together our expertise in supply chain finance and the latest technology. AI/ML technology offers stakeholders on the Cashinvoice platform speed and accuracy. Small businesses are able to access cost-effective capital quicker while lenders access accurate data from verified sources and are able to underwrite faster.

How do you think modern technology is a great source for connecting SMEs in the financial domain?

Technology is a powerful enabler to level the playing field and facilitate small businesses in accessing financing solutions in a cost- effective and time-efficient manner. With
Technology, businesses regardless of their size and geographical location have the opportunity to not only access the best financial products globally but access it at the click of a button effortlessly using their mobile phones. We believe that the supply chain is as strong as its weakest link and technology plays a great role in connecting lenders to stakeholders within the supply chain ecosystem all the way till last-mile supply chain partners.

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