On the 151st birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, two of the country’s iconic companies, State Bank of India (SBI) and Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) have come together to cater to the needs of small retailers by providing them digital payment and financing solutions. This partnership will help digitally empower HUL retailers and distributors through SBI’s customized solutions. Under this collaboration, the bank will offer an instant paperless overdraft facility of up to Rs. 50,000 to retailers for their billings with distributors as well as financing facilities to HUL’s distributors.
To ensure customers get the option of digital payments in smaller towns as well, the bank will install SBI Point of Sale machines at multiple HUL touchpoints across the country. Additionally, SBI will provide UPI based solutions to HUL retailers for hassle-free, safe and instant cashless payments to their dealers from HUL’s retailer application “Shikhar”. The Bank will also offer HUL employees the option of a corporate salary package via an SBI microsite hosted on HUL’s intranet.
Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI said, “It is an honor for SBI to be associated with one of the most trusted companies globally and offer comprehensive and customized offerings for its stakeholders. SBI has always been working towards serving the last mile customers and similar is the case with HUL which caters to its customers in the remotest part of the country. We are glad that SBI has got an opportunity to leverage its strong geographic presence and strategic digital solutions to simplify the financial needs of HUL’s customers, retailers, dealers, and employees. We are confident that our alliance with HUL will turn out to be an exemplary amalgamation of SBI’s banking prowess and HUL’s inspiring customer connect.”
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, HUL said, “Our partnership with SBI is a push to provide digital solutions to important constituents of our ecosystem. General trade is a very important channel for the country as it serves the needs of millions of consumers by making essential products available. This channel also plays a significant role in our economy by creating employment opportunities for a wide spectrum of people. It is our endeavor to digitize and modernize this channel; support the retailers with the right assortment and enable them to access timely and affordable funding. The timing of the partnership could not have been better as this addresses one of the key needs for retailers and distributors, given the economic fallout of the pandemic.”
SBI’s 22000 branches and 58000 ATMs spread out across the country complements HUL’s deep rural reach. The partnership between the two companies will catalyze the adoption of digital (UPI) payments among small-scale entrepreneurs and retailers in the farthest corners of the country and pave way for a truly transformative leg of the digital India journey.