Indian SBM Bank has unveiled a new collaboration with India’s largest hyperlocal fintech startup, PayNearby.

The first bank to receive banking licence in India and the firm has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build an “open banking” network towards delivering basic banking solutions as well as advanced financial services, to customers.

Commenting on the partnership, Sidharth Rath, MD & CEO, SBM Bank (India), stated: “At SBM Bank, banking has become an on-demand experience for the new age customers. Branch locations, banking hours or normal waiting time – these concepts are fast eroding. 

“We, being a new bank, have set sights on offering a seamless experience, comprising of taking the bank to where customers prefer to be. Our partnership with Nearby Technologies is built on a commitment to facilitate financial empowerment among underbanked and unbanked segments – through the wide network comprising of the MSMEs and retail outlets. 

“Together, we will not only make secured, digital and assisted banking accessible to these entities but also add value in their economic growth. These entities are the backbone of the Indian economy and reaching them directly with the value drivers will trigger a visible positive impact and reduce inefficiency in their economic chain.”

The partnership will enable the bank to offer a complete suite of digital and assisted banking solutions through PayNearby’s extensive network of micro-enterprise and retail touchpoints. 

Anand Kumar Bajaj, MD & CEO, PayNearby added:  “We will have more than 20 lakh new age retail partners on ground, who will be sourced in a phased manner. They will be the first touch point to onboard customers and serve as the founding stone for the neo-banking initiative.

“The multi-modular, scalable architecture will allow us to easily plug and play different partner APIs and create an ecosystem where in addition to banking facilities, we are also able to offer value added services based on consumer interest. 

“From 9 Crore customers to 50 Crore beneficiaries, we believe through our distribution strength and the banking solutions from SBM Bank, we can together realize the dream of bridging the digital gap and making essential services available for all. PayNearby will transition India from assisted service to self-service nation by upgrading and reskilling our partners.

“We are geared to actualise this goal through our trained, tooled and tested retail partners on ground.

“The measure of success comes from enabling customers with what they want at a time, place or mode of their choice.”