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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.

Oct 24, 2018

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Impact of the Union Budget 2018 on Individuals

The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, announced the Union Budget 2018 on 1st February 2018 with components possessing the potential to have a transformational influence on various sectors of the economy. The current Indian economy has reached US$ 2.5 Trillion and is on its way to becoming the 5th largest in the world. GDP is projected at 7.4 % while the number of taxpayers has increased from 6.47 crores to 8.27 crores and a direct tax revenue growth rate of 18.7% has been achieved as of January 15th. The Union Budget is poised to leverage this upward trajectory and provide the impetus for further development at a macro and micro level. Many of the provisions in the Budget directly impact the daily life of a common man. This blog intends to dwell upon these provisions.

Health, Housing and Employment Receives a Major Boost

NHPS (National Health Protection Scheme) dubbed as the world’s largest government-funded healthcare program will be extended to provide up to ₹5 lakh towards hospitalisation for 10 crore families and ultimately 50 crore actual beneficiaries from underprivileged backgrounds.

Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) has been announced to ensure housing for all by 2022. Under this program, 51 lakh houses in 2017-18 and 2018-19 each will be constructed in rural areas with 37 lakh houses in urban areas.

₹40,000 crores worth of concessions were announced for senior citizens. The annual exemption limit on interest income from fixed and recurring deposit schemes including small savings instruments has been increased from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 in addition to increasing the ceiling for Section 80D from ₹30,000 to ₹50,000.

To facilitate employment generation, Government will contribute 12% of wages to EPF for 3 years. The Finance Ministry has also reduced EPF deduction to 8% for women employees thus significantly increasing their take-home salary while maintaining employer contribution at 12%.

A Huge Fillip to Travel and Transportation – Growth and Modernisation

Travel and transportation received a huge fillip across roads, railways and civil aviation. ₹1,48,528 crores have been reserved for boosting railway network capacity and gauge conversion. Over 4000 km will be electrified in addition to redeveloping over 600 major railway stations and progressively equipping all stations and trains with Wi-Fi and CCTV. ₹17,000 crores have also been allotted for augmenting Bangalore’s suburban railway network. The Government will quintuple the number of airports to 124 and connect hitherto unserved 56 airports and 36 heliports under UDAN, the regional connectivity program.  Around 9000 km of highways will be completed by the end of FY 2017-18 and over 35,000 km of interior roads will be completed in Phase 1.

Digital India – Integrated Education and Research – Major Focus

Under the massive ₹3,073 crore Digital India Program, over 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots will be set up to provide broadband access to 5 crore rural citizens. This opens up an avenue for individuals in rural India to access formal finance from digital lenders via the internet. New centres of excellence in the areas of AI, Big Data, Quantum communication and Internet of Things (IoT) will be established to boost indigenous intellectual capital in these crucial areas. An additional ₹14,500 crores have been earmarked for strengthening telecom infrastructure including BharatNet. To harness emerging technologies, particularly 5G, an indigenous Test Bed at IIT, Chennai will receive ₹135 crores.

The Government has launched a new program RISE (Revitalization of Infrastructure and Systems in Education) funded by a non-banking financing agency HEFA (Higher Education Financing Agency) with ₹1 lakh crore. In higher education, under the Prime Minister’s Research Fellow Scheme, 1000 B.Tech students will be identified and facilitated to complete PhD at India’s prestigious institutes.  Up to 24 new medical colleges are to be started and upgrade of several existing colleges was announced to ensure at least one Government College for each state in India. Two new schools of planning and architecture will also be set up in addition to 18 more IIT/NIITs.

Personal Tax

On the personal income tax front, there are no new changes in income tax slabs or structure.  However, a standard deduction of ₹ 40,000 will be introduced in lieu of transport and medical allowances while a higher allowance will be allowed for disabled individuals. From April 1, 2018, long-term capital gains of more than ₹ 1 Lakh will be taxed at 10% though gains until January 31, 2018, and will be grandfathered. Dividends from equity Mutual Funds will now attract DDT to perhaps discourage investors investing in Equity funds primarily for dividends. In an effort to promote gold as an attractive asset class, the existing Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) will be made more investor-friendly and a network of regulated gold exchanges will be set up.

Balanced Budget

Though the budget was projected as agriculture-oriented and farmer-friendly, it is balanced and well-intentioned. Huge boost to expanding and upgrading transportation infrastructure especially the railways and supporting underprivileged with healthcare, housing and employment are the cornerstones of this Union Budget.  Substantial measures in the areas of digital economy and education pave the way towards India becoming an economic superpower.

Oct 24, 2018

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Your Concise Guide to Choosing a Business Bank Account for Working Capital

Having a dedicated business bank account is important for business owners to effectively manage and utilise their working capital. With a simple segregation between personal and professional funds, the day-to-day transactions will be easier to track and document. It is also essential for compliance in IT returns filing and will help you to identify the correct deductions for your tax savings.

In India, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) generally use current accounts to manage their funds and to get a working capital loan. While no interest is received from these accounts, lately some banks in the private sector have started offering interest to attract more buyers for opening accounts with them. As a part of their services, the banks also provide working capital finance to their eligible customers with current accounts. However, these grants are sanctioned upon the pledging of an asset as collateral. Industrial, commercial or residential property or liquid securities have to be pledged while borrowing funds for business from a public or private sector bank.

With the availability of working capital financing solutions from digitally operating NBFCs – known as FinTech (technology) companies ¬– entrepreneurs can now have their dedicated business bank account and procure loans without pledging any collateral. These online platforms provide financial the benefits of less stringent terms and flexible repayments.

The question then is – how to choose the right bank account for business transactions? Most banks have now customised their current accounts into different sub-categories, and an enterprise can choose one based on its annual turnover and particular needs. The key expectations from such an account are:

Salary solutions for employees: You need to pay your employees on time every month, and may have to remit their remuneration through dedicated salary accounts or crossed cheques. The business bank account must make the execution of these processes simpler.

Digital banking services: In an era where all personal banking transactions can be done online, current accounts must also come with a host of online banking services. Your account must give you the flexibility of transferring funds anytime, anywhere, and of making regular payments on working capital demand loan that you may have procured from another financial institution. In addition to net banking, services such as phone banking, mobile banking and quick reverts on SMS-based queries are looked forward to as well. Mobile instant alerts on transactions must be provided by banks in the digital age.

Cheques payable at par: Your business bank account should offer the provision of personalised cheques payable at par across India. This conventional facility is good for business owners who prefer to use cheques over online banking for making payments to their employees, vendors, suppliers and to the companies that issued working capital finance to them.

Competitive foreign exchange rates: If your business operations involve buying from or selling to other countries, you will need seamless foreign exchange transactions. Choose your current account from a bank that offers competitive rates on foreign exchange rates routed through them.

Zero balance account: No business wishes to reach a point where they have zero balance in their bank account. Nevertheless, there can be tough times in the market and you may experience some strain on your finances. For emergencies, your business current account should allow you to reach zero balance even if it is for a temporary period. There should be no ‘penalty charges’ on such accounts. You can always update the balance with relentless focus and consistent efforts while working on your business objectives.

Where a zero balance account is not possible, the minimum monthly average balance (MAB) must be made affordable for SMEs. Alternatively, the penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance must not be very high. Do not hesitate to compare business accounts of different banks on this basis. Your working capital finance provider may also be able to guide you here.

Interest rate: We had mentioned earlier that current accounts do not usually involve interest earnings. This had been the norm in the banking industry for decades. However, with an increasing competition between public and private sector banks, things have changed. All financial institutions are trying to enhance their brand image in the industry by offering products that are more attractive to prospective customers. In this race, they have started delivering interest on idle money in business accounts while also giving the flexibility of accessing the funds anytime. With interest earnings on your account, you can also speed up the payments on your working capital loan procured from any source.

Businesses do have good reasons for applying for a separate banking account, and it also proves their creditworthiness to sources of working capital loan in India. Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and FinTech lenders can directly disburse funds into a current account.

The documents needed to open such accounts vary from bank to bank and depend on the type of business. Those investing in their start-ups are often asked to submit copies of their latest IT returns, PAN Card and ID and address proofs such as Aadhar Card or Passport copy. Partnerships, Limited Companies, Trusts, Associations and other corporations that involve more people and hire employees need extra documentation, which among other things must also include the registration deed for the business.

Further, check the fee and applicable charges on these business accounts. There may be charges for remittance facility from other banks, for the maintenance of debit cards and duplicate or ad hoc account statements.

As a FinTech lender, Capital Float disburses loans into your accounts in a duration as short as 3 days, helping you to keep going further for the consistent success of your venture. We have an array of loan products to help you work on the seamless growth of a project that you have enthusiastically nurtured.

Oct 24, 2018