Banks/FIs deserve accolades for expanding their SME portfolio over the past years and thus exceeding the SME disbursement target given by the Central Bank. However, the financial industry is still saddled with some concerns when SME lending is in question. Banks find it hard to consider SME loans as a core focus segment because of the higher cost of monitoring and underwriting, as SMEs are scattered all across the country and are unstructured in terms of account management. Therefore, underwriting of SMEs is expensive and time-consuming since the cost and underwriting process for all borrowers (irrespective of size and value) are similar. FIs can come up with scoring models for SME businesses by deploying technology leveraging on the huge set of customer data. Also, more than just funding, small businesses require business management tools and advice on how to
diligently manage working capital and FIs are the best fit to help them out in this scenario.
Lastly, this is worthy to mention that the whole financial industry played a crucial role in building SME ecosystem and educating the market at this level, with prudent guidance from the Central Bank. Now, expanding the SME market reach in a low cost manner, by deploying technology should be the priority of Banks or FIs.More Print Editions Subscribe