India-based information technology vendor Infosys and financial intermediary ICICI have launched a new business-to-business financial fulfilment product to enable banks to link buyers, sellers and B2B exchanges.
The first phase of their B2B transactional model uses an escrow route for financial fulfilment. The buyer's funds are parked in an escrow account in the bank and are disbursed to the seller when specified conditions are met.
Banks use ICICI SmartPay to handle transactions once a deal is struck; from issuing multi-level approvals, providing alerts on the status of the deal and ensuring the structured release of payments, to monitoring the various statuses such as approval, remittance, dispatch of goods and rejection.
Rivi Varghese, head of product management (delivery channels), banking business unit, Infosys Technologies, says: "Banks are the natural choice for fulfilling the trust gap which exists in a B2B deal. We believe that products of this nature will boost the uptake of B2B transactions, as traditionally this was hamstrung by lack of strong financial fulfilment and bank intermediated products."