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SBI partners with Coca-Cola, HCCBPL to promote digital payment

State Bank of India, Coca-Cola India and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages have signed an agreement to enable over 2.6 million retailers and 5,000 distributors in conducting business transactions digitally.

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI and T Krishnakumar, Chairman & CEO HCCBPL & Region Director (South Asia) signed the MoU to forge the strategic partnership.

It entails initiating the digitisation process among the retailers by on-boarding them into the SBI’s digital payment options such as Buddy P2P, Buddy Merchant App, SBI Pay, a statement said. To aid a smooth transition process, Coca-Cola and SBI will provide training to the retailers on new and evolving digital business transaction solutions.

Speaking at the ceremony, Arundhati Bhattacharya said, “We are happy to announce this joint endeavour by two leading organisations in response to Prime Minister’s vision for a Digital India”.

“Our digital payment platforms such as Buddy, SBI Pay and State Bank Collect provide our customers easy-to-use and convenient modes of transactions. They also act as the tip of the spear for onboarding consumers and merchants to our larger range of financial products,” she added.

Krishnakumar said, “We recognise and support the government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ centred on making the country a digitally empowered economy”. “We have been forerunners in the digital solution space and while all of our payment to suppliers and more than 90% of our collections from our partners are digitised, we propose to extend this facility to every retailer in the market place”, he said.

“Our partnership with SBI is a step forward in this direction. The digital payment solutions in business transactions will help further strengthen our retail chain ecosystem covering over 2.6 million retailers and 5,000 distributors and will substantially reduce the dependence on cash,” Krishnakumar said.

“As India moves towards digitisation, “it is critical that the country’s un-organised retail sector adopt digital payment systems which will provide them an opportunity to further grow their businesses,” said Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola (India and South West Asia).

HCCBPL and CCIPL will leverage “Coca-Cola University on Wheels” (CCU) under its “Parivartan” programme to train the retailers and distributors on handling digital payments.

HCCBPL is the bottling arm of Coa-Cola India in the country. The training will integrate SBI’s developed digital payments module into the training capsule.