A bank-like network for rural India
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.
In this episode of #HumanBeyondResources, OYO CHRO Dinesh Ramamurthi talks about how Swiggy inspired its four-day work week, how it decided to extend health benefits to even past employees, the outlook for the travel industry, and the co-working space business, among several other things.
Editor’s Pick: App Friday
After Clubhouse, Twitter, Facebook, and Discord, Spotify enters the social audio segment with its new app Spotify Greenroom. With unique features like an in-room chat and in-app recording, only time will tell how it fares in this booming market.
The app, launched last week, is available on both Android and iOS devices and has recorded over 50,000 downloads on Google PlayStore. Read more.
CareStack is a Florida and Thiruvananthapuram-based dental care startup, which has given exit to 12 of its early-stage investors
In April, the startup raised $22.5 million in funding. The round saw participation from SteadView Capital, Delta Dental of California, Accel Partners, Eight Roads, and F-Prime Capital, thus giving a successful buyout to early-stage investors at 4x to 13x the invested capital. Read more.
News & Updates
- Reliance Industries and Google have announced the JioPhone Next, an India-first 4G smartphone that promises to be the world's most affordable such device. The smartphone will go on sale on September 10 and comes with a voice assistant, smart camera with AR filters, and more.
- At RIL's 44th AGM, Mukesh Ambani revealed that since JioMart's launch, it has digitised over three lakh small merchants and shopkeepers across 150 cities in India. He said Kirana orders have seen a growth of 3X, and order frequency has doubled on the platform.
- Air cargo firm SpiceXpress, along with Delhivery, will build drone delivery capability in India, and the pilot project is expected to start in the next three-four months. Both the entities have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect.
- Paytm has extended the deadline for shareholders, employees, and former employees to submit their documents by June 30 if they wish to sell their shares in the planned initial public offering (IPO) of the company.
- Twitter said it has added Razorpay as an option to its 'Tip Jar' feature, in a bid to make it easier for Indians to send and receive cash gifts from their followers or users who like their content.
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.”