In another Indian initiative, Amazon has launched a lending network connecting lenders and its sellers, who will be able to qualify for loans at competitive rates within 24 hours.
The Amazon Lending program will offer loans, including term loans and overdrafts, between Rs 200,000 and Rs 50 million depending on the seller’s requirements through an online application process. The e-commerce giant has tapped six lenders, including Aditya Birla Finance, Bank of Baroda, Capital First, Capital Float, Flexiloans and YES Bank, to provide a wide range of loans to sellers to grow their online business.
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“Our salespeople come from different parts of the country with different needs. Lack of working capital is one of the main reasons that prevent sellers from selling online, and we wanted to remove this barrier, ”said Gopal Pillai, Managing Director and Director of Seller Services, Amazon India.
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The seller must have a trading history of at least four to six months on the Amazon platform to qualify for a loan. “We have a proven algorithm that predicts the seller’s ability to repay based on historical performance,” Pillai informed, adding that about 65% of sellers invited to a loan take advantage of it. The company also claims that sellers who take loans on their network get an equal amount of additional revenue on the e-commerce platform.
Drawing inspiration from Amazon Seller Central and Brand Central, the large e-commerce company has also developed a separate portal for lenders called Lenders Central, where lenders can run their business in a more streamlined way, including following the repayment schedule, status and blocked amount.
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While Amazon’s loan program started in 2016, the loan was only offered by one lender. However, with several lenders now on board, interest rates are becoming competitive for sellers who can choose and work with a lender based on their needs. Since 2016, the company has grown 4.5 times the amount of loans that have been used.
Locked in an intense battle with local e-commerce leader Flipkart, Amazon has pioneered several Indian initiatives to expand its seller network, which has grown from 100 in 2013 to over 340,000 today.
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The company previously launched a Chai Kart initiative educating sellers about the benefits of starting an online business and helping them understand the whole process over a cup of tea. Two years ago, the e-commerce giant also announced the launch of Amazon Tatkal, an initiative that allowed small and medium businesses to connect in 60 minutes and sell products.
The Seller Flex program is another India-specific initiative that has sprung up to provide the best fulfillment experience for sellers without having to build a center. The U.S. online retail giant expanded its global sales program earlier this year to India by allowing its local sellers to reach commercial customers in markets such as the United States, Europe and Japan. . It currently has over 32,000 sellers on its global sales program who can ship products to consumers in other countries.