A bank-like network for rural India

Bharat Money Stores, launched in 2017 by Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd, a unit of IndusInd, helps small kiranas in villages provide banking services to communities underserved by rural banks, and allow transactions such as cash deposit and withdrawals, utility bill payments, etc.

Good morning!

India has 43 registered gramin banks that operate 21,864 branches across the country, as per the Department of Financial Services. But rural areas continue to remain underserved. 

Opening more and more bank branches isn’t the solution — there has to be an infusion of existing infrastructure with technology that can enable banking.

This is the problem statement Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd, (BFIL), owned by IndusInd Bank, and its Bharat Money Stores initiative is solving.

Bharat Money Stores act as one-stop banking and financial services hubs that help people in rural areas access banking services. 

These small merchant and kirana shops use state-of-the-art technology to convert small businesses into banking outlets, providing services such as bank account opening, cash withdrawals and deposits, fixed and recurring deposits opening, utility bill payments, mobile and DTH recharges, money transfers, and loans.

The transactions conducted by Bharat Money Stores are enabled by IndusInd’s proprietary software, APIs, and product suites. The front-end applications used by merchants were built in-house by BFIL, and use biometric technology to verify and authenticate transactions.

To date, BFIL has around 65,000 partner merchants across 10 states, including Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Jharkhand, covering 27,500 villages so far.

The financial enterprise has set its sights on opening over three lakh Bharat Money Stores across 1.80 lakh villages in the next two years.

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Before you go, stay inspired with… 

“As rightly said by Dr Amartya Sen, poverty must be seen as deprivation of basic capabilities rather than merely as lowness of income. To achieve overall economic development, financial inclusion is a necessary step towards inclusive growth.”

Ritesh Chatterjee, Chief Distribution Officer and Head of Bharat Money Stores

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