Under the arrangement, IT firms can obtain working capital, term loans for fixed asset purchases and capital expenditures, plus more facilities
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) members can now avail collateral-free loans of up toTk50 lakh, and other tailor-made financing solutions, from Prime Bank as the two organisations have formed a partnership.
It will be a big boost for the country's booming information communication technology (ICT) and information technology enabled services (ITES) industry, commented both parties at a webinar on Tuesday.
The partnership titled "Prime Bank-BASIS Alliance for ICT-MSME Financing Solution" will enable easy access to finance to the ICT and ITES companies as they prepare for the next step of expansion against the backdrop of the government's vision of Digital Bangladesh.
Under the arrangement, the IT firms can obtain working capital, term loans for fixed asset purchases and capital expenditures, international trade solutions, bank guarantees, work orders, and more.
They can also avail a wide range of deposit products and free internet banking – ALTITUDE – for conducting a broad range of e-transactions.
IT firms will need two years of business experience and an introduction letter from BASIS to obtain loans.
The companies can apply for loans from the comfort of their offices or homes as Prime Bank has assigned dedicated relationship managers to provide exclusive services for BASIS members.
Usually IT companies struggle to get bank loans due to existing credit assessment and mortgage issues. Now, this partnership between the BASIS and Prime Bank will create an encouraging business ecosystem for thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the ICT industry.
State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak launched the alliance at a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
He said, "The banks have to continuously adopt new strategies and innovative technology. We are using digital technologies more at this time of the novel coronavirus. In this way, we have to enhance the usage of ICT technology in our everyday life. Then we can make Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's vision of making digital banking a reality."
Commenting on the alliance, Managing Director and CEO of Prime Bank Rahel Ahmed said the ICT industry holds immense potential for becoming a game changer for Bangladesh's economy.
He said, "With overwhelming growth over the past two decades, ICT entrepreneurs forecast that this sector will become the second-highest foreign currency earner, next to the RMG sector, within the next few years."
"Prime Bank is committed to being a part of the growth journey of this promising industry," he added.
Mentioning that 30 local banks in Bangladesh are presently using Core Banking Solutions developed by local ICT firms, BASIS president Syed Almas Kabir requested banks and corporate companies maintain their confidence in local software companies and use locally-developed IT solutions to help the sector flourish even more.
The users of the locally-developed IT solutions and software will be able to save costs and get maintenance support swiftly.
Prime Bank's Head of MSME Banking Syed M Omar Tayub, its Head of Brand and Communications Nazmul Karim Chowdhury and Vice President (Admin) of BASIS Shoeb Ahmed Masud were also present at the webinar.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the bank conducted the event online as part of its efforts to comply with social distancing guidelines.