The guidelines on Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) were issued in December 2014 with the objective of facilitating the financing of trade receivables of MSMEs. Small businesses can use the TReDS platform to raise capital by auctioning off their trade receivables. Before the buyer pays, a finance provider or a bank (basically the vendor) bids on an MSME’s bills before the due date. Following that, the working capital is transferred to the MSMEs account. TReDS and all transactions processed under this system are ‘”without recourse” to MSMEs. It means financiers do not have recourse against the Seller (MSMES) in case the buyer defaults.
There are three direct participants involved in the activities of TReDS viz. i. Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Sellers, (ii). Corporates, Government Departments, PSUs, and any other entity can participate as buyers in TReDS.(iii)banks, NBFC-Factors, and other financial institutions, as permitted Financiers. The TReDS will provide the platform to bring these participants together for facilitating uploading, accepting, discounting, trading, and settlement of the invoices/bills of MSMEs. As per the announcement made by the RBI on Wednesday (February 8, 2023), the Insurance facility will now be permitted on TReDS. This will encourage financing/discounting of payables of buyers irrespective of their credit ratings. Accordingly, insurance companies will be permitted to participate as a “fourth participant” on TReDS, apart from the MSME sellers, buyers, and financiers.
The Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated February 8, 2023, said that “ to provide further impetus to TReDS platforms, their scope of activity is proposed to be expanded as all entities/institutions eligible to undertake factoring business under the Factoring Regulation Act will be permitted to participate as financiers in TReDS”. Further, secondary market operations will now be enabled on TReDS platforms. This would allow financiers to offload their existing portfolio to other financiers within the same TReDS platform if required.
Currently, there are three operating TReDS platforms in India, namely Invoicemart, M1xchange, and RXIL, and two more entities have been granted in-principle authorisation. These entities process about ₹60,000 crore worth of transactions annually.