How to Get Collateral Free SME Loans for Your Business in India

The inability to provide collateral has been a major hindrance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) seeking loans to fund their working capital needs, finance their expansion or take advantage of growth opportunities. Although the government has been taking steps to provide the necessary financing to SMEs, traditional lending institutions offer generic credit products to SMEs. When these financial institutions offer collateral free business loans, they impose stringent eligibility criteria, have long loan approval processes and the requirement of a guarantor to safeguard themselves against default.

Against this backdrop of skepticism, new-age lenders like Capital Float have emerged, using cutting-edge technology and innovative products to ease the loan approval process and support SMEs to repay loans by tying repayments with their receivables. These FinTech companies, which bring together finance and technology, specialize in business loans in India for the SME segment.

Specialized Products from FinTech Lenders

FinTech lenders aim at fulfilling the credit requirements of Indian SMEs by developing innovative and customized loan products and simplifying the process of loan application.

Realizing that the main problem faced by SMEs in securing loans is their inability to provide collateral, Capital Float offers flexible, collateral-free business loans via its online platform. These loans can be used to purchase inventory, optimize cash flows or fund any other expense. Some of these loans are provided against the borrower’s bills receivables or credit card receivables. All of Capital Float’s credit products come with easy and flexible repayment options.

Choosing the Collateral Free Loan that Best Suits Your Business 

For any business loan requirement, one needs to assess the amount needed and submit an online application, along with digital copies of relevant documents. These documents may include income tax returns for a period of three years and bank statements for the last six months. The use of advanced software, with highly powerful algorithms, allows Capital Float to process the loan application and transfer the sanctioned amount to the SME in a matter of 3 days.

Related: What Makes Unsecured Business Loans Safe for Your Small Business?

Small businesses can explore a variety of loan options and choose the one that best suits their business loan requirements. Here are the things one needs to consider:

If your SME has positive monthly cash flows and needs funds for the short term, you can apply for Capital Float’s Term Finance product. One can borrow an amount ranging between ₹1 lakh to ₹1 crore, with the loan period ranging from six months to three years. Term Finance loans are disbursed within three days.

The growing popularity of online shopping has propelled the growth of ecommerce companies offering a variety of products and services. On the other hand, increasing awareness of customers, shrinking lead times and the need to manage inventory effectively have posed new challenges for SMEs. Here’s where the Online Seller Finance product works best. This innovative credit option is a short-term loan provided to e-commerce sellers who are selling their products on online platforms. These companies may be looking to raise funds for purchasing stock, diversifying their operations or taking initiatives to increase the visibility of their products. Partnerships with online marketplaces, like Amazon, PayTM, Snapdeal, Myntra, Shopclues and eBay allow Capital Float to help merchants access fast and flexible working capital funding. The loan amount is decided on the basis of the monthly sales and projected revenues of the borrower. Flexible repayment options and the availability of credit of up to two times the monthly sales of the business are some of the attractive features of Online Seller Finance.

Another attractive short-term collateral free loan option is the Pay Later Finance, which works like a revolving credit facility. A credit capacity is determined, based on the prospects of the business. The total amount is not transferred in one go. The SME has the flexibility to borrow amounts as and when business loan requirements arise. The loan amounts can be repaid over a 30-60-90 day cycle. The repayment restores the sanctioned limit, making more credit available for future requirements. Interest is charged only on the amount drawn and not on the entire credit capacity.

Businesses that receive payments via credit card transactions or point of sale (POS) machines can opt for a special financial product known as Merchant Cash Advance. Partnerships with multiple POS machine vendors such as Pine Labs, Mswipe, ICICI Merchant Services, MRL Posnet and Bijlipay have enabled Capital Float to offer swift and hassle-free business loans in India to SMEs using POS machines at their establishments. This tailor-made financial product offers loan amounts of up to 200% of the borrower’s monthly card settlement. The tenure ranges from six months to a year, and a business can raise as much as ₹1 crore.

SMEs also have the option of using their accounts receivables to raise business loans at attractive rates. With the Supply Chain Finance product, an SME can liquidate its receivables immediately into cash and use the same to fund the execution of the order or the growth and expansion of the business. A company can borrow funds ranging from as low as ₹1 lakh to as high as ₹1 crore. One also has the option to repay the loan in easy instalments or in one go in case funds become available to the business.

For SMEs seeking collateral free business loans with quick approvals and disbursal of funds, Fintech lenders are a viable option. The priority for such lenders is to not only ease the process of application and disbursement, but also help SMEs repay loans easily and continue to have credit available.

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Can Fintech companies partner with Traditional Banks?

India’s growth as an economic power in Asia has been consistent in the past one decade. In addition to the contribution of larger corporations and the multinational companies that have forayed here, this economic growth is significantly supported by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – a highly resilient and innovative sector that employees more than half of the Indian population.

The SME sector of India holds a huge potential for growth. However, the only challenge that could thwart their evolution is the lack of timely and adequate capital. A majority of the organisations in this sector operate as small entities that may lack the detailed documents or collateral required to procure loans from banks. Some of them are simply reluctant to offer their financial assets as security for the fear of losing them.

Given this lack of funds, small businesses face problems in meeting their operating expenses and are constrained from expanding their operations. Other problems include making payments on debt (owed to any other source of finance) and buying supplies to fulfil their contracts.

Financial Challagenes Faced by SMEs

A solution against such inadequacies has emerged in the form of FinTech companies that focus on financing small and medium enterprises.

The FinTech revolution has been facilitated by digital technology wherein funds are instantly provided to eligible SMEs after the evaluation of certain documents submitted online by them. As a pioneer in Fintech lending, Capital Float has a 10-minute online application processing system, followed by a three-day disbursal TAT.

The ease of borrowing from online lenders has also raised a question – are these companies a threat to the conventional lending setup established by banks?

Contrary to what is usually perceived, FinTech companies have proved to be active partners for banks and are helping them disburse more loans. They have assisted banks in identifying good customers faster and in disbursing quick credit.

Thanks to the robust growth of the economy in the last few years and the positive outlook for the manufacturing and services sectors, there is sufficient room for growth for both traditional and new age lending institutions.

Although their functioning may differ, lending decisions for both have to be guided by a good knowledge of the customer’s ability to repay the loan. Banks typically lend to individuals or businesses that have high regular income and/or the willingness to offer collateral as security. The collateral must be a financial asset that can be liquidated in case the borrower is unable to pay back. Banks refer to income tax returns, credit bureau scores and operational history of the concerned applicant.

In comparison, and driven by their intent to know their customers better, peer-to-peer lending companies employ non-conventional data sources for underwriting loans to individuals. As these companies are in the private sector, they are not fraught by a levy of formal regulations in evaluating clients for funds. They use multiple data points, including information extracted from new age technology such as big data analytics, to assess creditworthiness. In addition, they offer unsecured loans that do not require applicants to pledge any of their assets. These companies use a streamlined underwriting process along with risk management. Their work is characterised by extensive use of sophisticated technology and lower operating costs.

As the business of FinTech lending grows, banks also acknowledge that their customers today are technology savvy, and they are looking at ways where collaborations with online lenders can help them serve their own customers better. Because of their success in the credit market, FinTech companies have proved that this can be done without operational or regulatory risk to the lender.

Since 2015, the digital lending industry has undergone significant changes, and chief among these is the shift towards a cashless system. The promotion of cashless technologies – digital wallets, Internet banking and mobile-based point of sale – has reshaped the financial sector. Later, demonetisation became a major factor that popularized the concept of online lending.

As a positive development, banks are now looking at online lenders as partners instead of as competitors in the market. Some banks have made arrangements where they, in return for a small fee, refer customers to p2p lending platforms that provide unsecured loans that not offered by banks. Through such a program, they facilitate loans for businesses that deserve to get funds but cannot procure them from banks due to long-established, inflexible rules.

Some banks are part of programs that let them use a FinTech organisation’s technology to provide small business loans. These loans are retained on the bank’s own books, but the FinTech company’s platform is used to approve and service them. The banks see this as an opportunity to offer a product they generally do not have on their portfolio but (by seeking the support of a peer-to-peer lender), it helps them retain precious client relationships.

Banks have large balance sheets that they can use to provide loans and cater to promising start-ups and SMEs with a consistent growth rate. However, their conventional underwriting practices have deterred them from promoting some SME segments. Conversely, the government has now highlighted SME as a priority sector in the economic development of India. Therefore, the banks have to meet their new business lending targets without incurring huge costs.

The credit gap in the market can be closed with a fruitful relationship between banks and peer-to-peer lending companies. Capital Float has custom-made loan products and fine-tuned technology to help banks achieve their goals. It can help them reach out to businesses in need, and banks can then use their financial strength to service them.

New age financial technology has transformed the way consumers, and businesses, borrow and spend money. The aim of FinTech lending is to enhance the convenience of financial services and bridge the gap between demand and supply of small business loans. To help their customers, banks can effectively work alongside peer-to-peer lenders instead of competing with them.

Oct 24, 2018

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Merchant Cash Advance – Quick Loans on Card Swipes

Plastic money has revolutionised the commercial world in the last two decades, both for consumers as well as business owners. With the recent demonetization, more customers are compelled to use cards to purchase goods and avail services. An increasing number of merchants are installing point-of-sale card machines to ensure that sales are unaffected. After all, a card swipe is undoubtedly quicker and more convenient than cash.

Now, the receipts of those card swipes can help you raise capital to expand your business operations. Whether you’re a retailer, restaurateur, or a small-to-medium business owner whose revenue comes primarily from credit and debit card sales, Capital Float’s ‘Merchant Cash Advance’ is a quick, hassle-free financing option to fund all your working capital needs.

With Merchant Cash Advance, you can receive up to 200% of your monthly sales from card payment machines. The repayment process is entirely hassle-free on your part. Your POS partner repays a percentage of your daily card sales on your behalf as instalment for the loan. The balance amount is paid to you on a daily basis. So, instead of being burdened by hefty fixed repayments every month, you pay an agreed-upon percentage of your daily credit/debit card sales, until the advance is paid in full.

Features

  1. Loan amount of up to Rs. 1 cr

Traditional banks aren’t as generous when it comes to how much you can borrow. Add to that the piles of documentation and proofs of credit score that you need to submit, which only elongate the process. At Capital Float, on the other hand, you’re eligible for an advance of up to Rs. 1 cr, depending upon your monthly card settlement and ability to repay between a tenure of 6 months to a year.

  1. Loan tenure of 6 months to 1 year

Every line of business has different challenges and requirements. We understand the importance of providing flexible credit offerings that are tailored to your business need. You can avail Merchant Cash Advance for a period varying between six months to one year. If you have a short-term working capital need, a six-month long loan might be ideal. Similarly, if your need involves securing a larger loan and if you would like to spread out the repayment schedule, you could take the loan for a period of one year.

  1. Get up to 200% finance on your monthly card machine sales

With Merchant Cash Advance, you can receive up to 200% working capital finance on monthly sales from card machines. As more customers use debit and credit cards to shop, your sales from point-of-sale machines is likely to increase significantly. These sales records can help you avail quick finance that you could channel into running your business. Our sophisticated loan product opens a new avenue of formal financing for you, as you seek credit channels to leverage business opportunities.

Benefits

  1. Cash-flow friendly daily repayments

Usually, small business loans have a fixed repayment plan, wherein, you pay the same amount every month based upon the agreed-upon interest rate. At Capital Float, you pay back as per your daily credit/debit sales. Take, for example, if the agreed upon repayment is 15% of your credit card receipts, we will deduct 15% in proportion to how much business you’ve done through the day, until the repayment is done in full.

  1. Get funding in 3 days

It’s a highly competitive business world, and in case a potential opportunity knocks on your door, the last thing you want to do is wait for the funds to reach you. One of the many USPs of Merchant Cash Advance is its potential for fast approval and disbursal. Through our data-driven competencies, we render a decision within hours and deliver funds to you within 72 hours, so that you waste no time in covering an unexpected business expense or capitalising on a lucrative business opportunity.

  1. Zero collateral

Traditional banks cover their risk by taking collateral form the borrower while giving a loan. Given the completely unsecured nature of Merchant Cash Advance, you don’t have to put any personal or business assets on the line. All we require is your banking documents for last 12 months, KYC documents, VAT returns for last six months and card settlement statements for 3 months prior to loan application.

  1. Simple and secure online process

Like many small business loans of this type, you can apply for an advance from wherever you are, as long as you have a computer or cell phone with an internet connection. The procedure is extremely simple, and takes a mere ten minutes of your time. All you need to do is fill out an application form, upload the necessary documentation. The process is designed to be convenient for you. We maintain strict security protocols, safeguarding your data at all times.

Eligibility and Documents

To qualify for a loan at Merchant Cash Advance, you must comply with the following parameters:

Eligibility

  • Your business must have minimum operational history of 1 year
  • Minimum turnover of ₹20,00,000
  • Minimum card acceptance vintage of 6 months
  • Minimum monthly card volume of ₹1,00,000
  • Minimum of six settlements per month

Documents required

  • Your banking documents for last 12 months
  • VAT returns for last six months prior to loan application
  • Card settlement statements for 3 months prior to loan application. All acquirer banks, except American Express, are eligible.
  • The company’s as well as the promoter’s KYC documents

Fees and Charges

At Capital Float, we conduct business in the most transparent manner. This means, you’re only obligated to pay a processing fee of up to 2% for the loan. There are no hidden or pre-closure penalties during or after your application procedure.

Click here to know more about Capital Float

Click here to apply for Merchant Cash Advance

Oct 24, 2018

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How will the GST Impact Financial Services Sector in India?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been the biggest tax reform in India since 1947. Analysts also expect that it will have a huge impact on various sectors of the Indian economy, especially the service sector. Of the segment comprising banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), the fund-related, fee-based and insurance services will witness significant impact as a result of GST implementation and will see shifts from the way they had been operating earlier.

What is really implied by financial services?

The term ‘financial services’ has not been specifically defined by the GST law. However, to understand the implications of this tax on the financial services sector, we need to consider the supply of goods and services that involve the extension of credit support. These services include but are not limited to:

– Loans
– Lease
– Hire purchase
– Conditional sales
– Securitisation or assignment of receivables
– Acquisition or sale of shares and securities

The compliance towards GST can take some effort in the above fields because of the nature of operations conducted by banks and NBFCs concerning credit products, lease transactions, hire purchase, actionable claims and other funds and non-funds-based services.

The GST rate on banking services and services provided by the NBFCs has been raised from 15% to 18% with the execution of this reform from July 01, 2017 onwards. The GST impact on financial services may further be classified into the following sub-sections:

1. Network of branches to be registered separately

Before the implementation of GST, a bank or NBFC with operations spread across India could discharge its compliance on service tax through one ‘centralised’ registration. After GST regulation, these institutions will be required to get a separate tax registration for each of the states they work in.

As a destination-based tax, GST has a multi-stage collection system. In such a mechanism, the tax is collected at each stage and the credit of tax that was paid at the last stage is available as a set off at the subsequent stage of the transaction. This transfers the tax incidence to different entities more evenly, and helps the industry through improved cash flows and better working capital management.

2. Leveraged and de-leveraged Input Tax Credit 

Earlier, banks and NBFCs had been majorly opting for the reversal of 50% of the Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT) credit that they avail against the inputs and input services, while the CENVAT credit on the capital goods was given without any reversal conditions. Under GST, the 50% of the CENVAT credit that was availed for inputs, input services and capital goods has been reversed. This leaves banks and NBFCs with a decreased credit of 50% on capital goods, and in turn raises the cost of capital.

However, this can be counterbalanced by the advantages posed by operating one’s business in the new taxation scenario. A unified domestic market can help with more opportunities for expansion and reduced production costs enhancing one’s profitability.

3. Evaluation and adjudication 

The impact of GST on banking services and NBFCs will also be felt in terms of evaluation procedures. Service tax was assessed by the particular regulators in the state where a branch is registered. In addition, every registered branch of the concerned bank or NBFC had to validate its position for the chargeability in the respective state and provide a reason for utilising the input tax credit in various states.

The GST assessment will involve more than one assessing authority, and each of them may have a different judgement for the same underlying issue. Although such contradictions can prolong the decision-making process for the financial institutions, the adverse effects of evaluation by one authority can be offset through decisions made by another assessor.

Impact of GST on banking sector – General services 

Banks in India have been levying service tax on most transactions enabled by their systems. These include but are not limited to digital fund transfers, issuance of ATM cards and chequebooks, and ATM withdrawals beyond a specific limit. With GST on financial services, these services will be taxed at the rate of 18% instead of the 15% service tax rate that was being charged earlier. For example, if you withdraw money from an ATM other than your bank’s ATM after exceeding the “free transaction limit”, you are typically charged Rs 20 plus a service tax, which comes to around Rs 23. With the imposition of GST, this amount will go up to Rs 23.60.

However, deeper analysis reveals that such an increase in cost should not be considered a negative GST impact on financial services sector. In the long run, banks will be able to transfer the advantage of input tax credit – enabled under GST – to the customers. Furthermore, services like fixed deposits (FDs) and other bank account deposits that were outside the circle of service tax will continue to remain outside the GST ambit.

A major advantage of GST on financial services and other sectors is that it is a transparent tax and has reduced the number of indirect taxes. It integrates different taxes and ensures that the tax burden is fairly divided between different entities involved in the system. In addition, GST is essentially technology based. The advanced software systems used in its calculation and filing works will reduce the chances of manual errors and will lead to better decision making.

Capital Float too experiences the effect of GST on banking and NBFCs. We find ourselves in the 18% tax bracket, and we maintain our statutory lending policies including low-interest rates and quick disbursement of funds. Taking into account the GST impact on financial services sector, Capital Float will continue to provide the best credit solutions to its clients, customized to adapt to the changes brought by GST on SMEs in various sectors.

Oct 24, 2018