Indian SMEs in crosshairs at Western Union and IndusInd Bank
India’s IndusInd Bank and Western Union have created a partnership designed to make foreign exchange and global business easier for SMEs in India.
Under the new service, customers will be able to request a visit from a representative of either Paul Merchants or Weizmann Forex – two of Western Union’s largest agents – to book a cross-border transaction. The service will be available in 22 cities across India, and is targeted at small businesses that would otherwise have to commit human resources and travel time to make payments for international suppliers.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises are essential to India’s economy,” said Raj Agrawal, president, Western Union business solutions. “There are nearly 30 million Indian SMEs that make a significant contribution to the country’s GDP. This arrangement will not only bring improved access to foreign exchange products for SMEs but will also increase the ease and efficiency with which they trade with their global partners.”
The two firms have indicated that the main intended benefits of the new service will be more efficient processing and payment reconciliation, transparent pricing and increased payment visibility, automatic email notifications to both sender and recipient, and a selection of 100 different currencies.
“While the larger businesses often manage to get the best deals for their cross-border payments, it has been seen that the SME segment does not always get the same level of services, said Ramesh Ganesan, executive vice president, IndusInd Bank. “We are confident that this technology offering will help us bring stronger service to support Indian SMEs.”
Mumbai-based IndusInd Bank was formed in 1994, and currently has 461 branches and 852 ATMs in India. It is a clearing bank on the Bombay Stock Exchange and India’s National Stock Exchange, and is also active on commodities exchanges MCX, NCDEX and NMCE.
IndusInd Bank calls itself the first of the new generation private banks in India. Founded by businessman Srichand P. Hinduja, the bank takes its name from the Indus Valley civilisation. The Bank currently has a target to grow its business by doubling its profits, clients and branches within the next three years.