The pandemic last year had a massive impact on our lives, with the world from suffering months of lockdown, to businesses coming to a standstill. This led to global & Indian economy witnessing a downturn in the first quarter of 2020, further resulting in depletion of revenues for businesses. Insufficient cash flow for operations, supplier disruptions and inaccessibility to raw material posed severe challenges for businesses across industries. Losses mounted to induce a severe cash crunch, that impacted the revenues of not only corporates and conglomerates, but also innumerable small & medium enterprises (SMEs).

While the Indian Government rolled out multiple stimulus packages aimed at reviving the flattening economy, inaccessibility to finance remained an obstacle and a chronic problem for Indian (M)SMEs. In fact, the situation worsened due to the pandemic as traditional banks and NBFCs shied away from giving out new loans.

SMEs and the credit deficit

SMEs have been battling lack of access to capital for years now. Over decades, a majority of them have remained dependent on private moneylenders and informal sources for finance. According to a 2018 report released by Omidyar Network and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 40% of Indian MSMEs are forced to borrow loans from informal sources that charge on an average 2.5% higher interest rates than those in the formal sector.[1] This is due to lack of small lending options from banks and financial institutions to MSMEs, where lengthy documentation, verification, and a rigid payments structure act as roadblocks.

This is where BharatPe’s products & services come to the forefront, with swift, hassle free and innovative loan solutions. BharatPe’s loan application to disbursal process is 100% digital, with a quick disbursal of loan. Merchants also have the option of paying easy daily installments which can be more convenient than paying a cumulative sum at the end of the month.

Easier working capital loans for your business!

The small businesses in India need two kinds of credits – term-loans for one-time heavy expenditure & small loans as operational credit to be used as daily working capital. For MSMEs, working capital loans are critical for their growth. If these can be arranged in a hassle-free manner, it can help various MSMEs to revive their businesses and grow further. It is this gap that has been identified and addressed by BharatPe, with a digitally optimised credit facilitation process that allows loan approval processes to be as short as a day.

BharatPe offers collateral free loans up to ₹7 Lakh to micro, small and medium scale businesses. The merchant can borrow the sum easily without pledging security, at zero processing fee and lower interest rates. We are committed to serve the small merchant community of India, which has been highly underserved by the traditional banking and financial institutions. The new age digital lender is poised to become the digital bank of these retailers, shopkeepers and merchants. We are on a track to disburse loans to the tune of INR 1,000 crores in FY21 and US$ 2 bn in loans by March 2023. We have already facilitated disbursement of over INR 800 crores to merchants and aim to enable credit to 10 lac small merchants and kirana store owners in 2021.

BharatPe has a network of over 6 million merchants across 75 cities in the country. A leader in the UPI offline transactions, having processed 8 crore+ UPI transactions a month (annualized Transaction Processed Value of US$ 7+ Bn), the company offers a portfolio of fintech products for small merchants and kirana store owners. Also, the company’s interoperable BharatPe QR and BharatSwipe allow merchants to do digital transactions without any rentals, hidden charges or transaction fee.

The rise of digital payments across customers and increased penetration of the internet has resulted to increased adoption of digital lending. Fintech, with their tech-driven products have an edge over traditional financial players as they can reach out to merchants across the country, without any infrastructure cost or investment in manpower. According to the BCG Report, digital lending in Indian MSMEs is likely to shoot up 10-15 times by 2023 between $80-100 Billion in annual disbursements.

Merchants are at the heart of everything that BharatPe offers. We aspire to serve as a one-stop destination for all merchant needs and, in this journey, lending products and services play a crucial role.  We have already disbursed loans to more than 1 lac merchants and the recent debt fund raised will help BharatPe offer loans and empower millions of underserved small merchants and kirana store owners across the country.

Offering innovative products that can empower MSMEs, who form the backbone of the India’s economy is the first and foremost priority at BharatPe. With innovation at the heart of all our products, a 100% digital process and convenient payback option, BharatPe is poised to lead the pack of digital lenders in India with an aim to bring smiles to the faces of millions of merchants in the country.


[1] Omidyar

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