ICICI Bank announced the launch of an online platform, ‘Trade Emerge’ (trade-emerge.icicibank.com), to offer comprehensive digital banking as well as value-added services to exporters and importers across India. The first-of-its-kind initiative makes cross border trade hassle-free, expeditious and convenient, as it offers an array of services in one place, which eliminates the need for companies to coordinate with multiple touchpoints.
The list of banking services includes current / saving account offerings, comprehensive trade services (Letter of Credit / Bank Guarantee / Trade Credit etc.), digital solutions like Corporate Internet Banking and Trade Online, state-of-the-art foreign exchange solutions, payment & collection solutions and credit cards. The list of value-added services includes incorporation of trade business, access to global trade database of nearly 15 million buyers and sellers across 181 countries, verification reports of potential customers through reputed credit bureaus, logistics solutions for shipment booking and last mile tracking, and insurance services like marine insurance all available online through a single window, and many more. These services are offered through partners having expertise in their respective fields.
Speaking on the initiative, Ms. Vishakha Mulye, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said, “Over the years, India has emerged as a key player in the global export-import space with a consistent growth history. Various factors– the country’s young demography, strong consumer demand, healthy production and supportive government initiatives — have contributed to the growth. During April to October 2021, our overall exports (merchandise and services combined) and imports are estimated to be nearly USD 780 billion, recording a rapid growth over the same period last year*.
The ‘Trade Emerge’ portal offers a comprehensive digital suite of various banking and value-added services to the companies engaged in export and import. The objective of this initiative is to increase efficiency and productivity of exporters and importers decongesting the time-taking physical procedures. This is a part of the Bank’s endeavour to offer customised digital banking as well as value-added solutions to corporates, and their entire ecosystem through various initiatives. The benefit of this platform is available to all exporters and importers, even if they are not customers of ICICI Bank.”
The key ‘value-added’ offerings are:
- Incorporation services: It helps companies looking to set up an export-import business in India to obtain key registrations and licenses such as trade license, Importer Exporter Code (IEC), GST registration and Registration Cum Membership Certificate issued by export promotion organisations or Commodity Boards of India. This digital facility is provided in association with ‘India Filings’, an online business and tax compliance platform. It also helps traders to avail certain export benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy of the country.
- Information services: Businesses in the export and import sector can access relevant information like updates/notifications/guidelines issued by domestic and international regulatory and trade bodies, customs processes and policies, tariff related information etc. on the ‘Trade Emerge’ platform. This information is provided in association with Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the apex trade promotion council in India.
- Access to global data base of partners from 181 countries: Typically, companies in the export and import business spend a lot of time and effort to find out suitable customers abroad. For doing so, they have to examine a lot of information such as past business records and credibility of potential customers. Through the ‘Market Intelligence’ section of the portal, exporters and importers get access to a global trade database of nearly 15 million buyers and sellers across 181 countries. It contains important data points such as transaction history, business performance etc. of the parties, which helps them select customers efficiently. The Bank is offering this service in association with ‘The Dollar Business’, a leading global export – import data and analytics platform.
- Verify potential partners: After selecting a potential customer, they can also verify its credibility through business information reports provided by CRIF, a leading credit information company and Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics.
- End-to-end digital logistics solutions: Post finalisation of the partner, an exporter or importer can avail logistics support for shipment related needs. They get multiple shipment options at flexible prices on ‘Trade Emerge’ and option of booking freight space instantly as against the previous time-consuming practice of contacting multiple agencies. The platform also enables last mile tracking for the users thereby making the entire process seamless and cost-effective. This digital logistics support is provided in association with Shipsy and Shipwaves, AI powered logistics management platforms.
- Insurance services: The portal enables exporters and importers to avail various insurance policies to protect their business, which are provided in association with ICICI Lombard, a leading general insurance provider in India. This includes insurances like ‘Marine Transit’ insurance to safeguard their shipment, group health insurance to offer health coverage to their employees, ‘Workmen’s Compensation’ insurance and property insurance.