PayPal and IIFT partner to facilitate MSME cross-border trade

Expert-led guidance and training for marketing, digitalisation and expansion

In yet another collaboration to strengthen the capabilities of MSMEs to capture new markets beyond home shores, digital payments major PayPal has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), an autonomous body under the Commerce Ministry that facilitates skill building for international trade in India.

As per the agreement, the two partners will launch the India Trade Facilitation Forum (IDTFF), a platform that will help MSMEs ‘leverage cross-border trade opportunities with export support and guidance, says this report in The Financial Express

PayPal and IIFT will pool in a panel of experts who will provide education, training and guidance to MSMEs in areas such as marketing, digitisation and scaling their business with a goal of enhancing exports, the report said. A host of industry leaders, policymakers and traders will also address participant MSMEs through webinars and masterclasses. 

Specifically, the knowledge sharing forum will focus on addressing the hindrances faced by small exporters to expand their business beyond the domestic market. At the top of the list of concerns is the issue of delayed international payments, which directly impacts the working capital availability of small businesses, who therefore hesitate to tread international markets. 

PayPal has played a critical role to address this issue - through its seamless facilitation of online payments, it encourages and instils confidence in exporters to engage in foreign trade, Professor Manoj Pant, Vice-Chancellor, IIFT, was quoted as saying at the launch event.

Nath Parameshwaran, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs at PayPal India said in a media statement that MSMEs must take advantage of e-commerce to engage in cross-border trade and that the sector was critical to realising the Prime Minister’s goal of achieving USD 400 Billion in exports for the year, as well as his long term vision to become a USD Five Trillion economy. The platform will provide micro exporters, women entrepreneurs and freelancers to empower, educate and skill them with global best practices, digital tools to be more competitive in international markets, he added. 

PayPal has taken several measures to provide its expertise to MSMEs in India, outlines this report in The Economic Times. In April 2021, the company collaborated with SME online lending platform to provide funding to freelancers, MSMEs and women entrepreneurs with collateral-free business loans to meet working capital expenditures, purchase stock and maintain inventory.

To aid digitalisation among small businesses by cutting down process time and paperwork, PayPal in May launched an automated process to obtain the Foreign Inward Remittance Advice (FIRA). The company is also introducing new features like QR codes to enable MSMEs to partake in a seamless omnichannel experience, the ET report said.