Financial Inclusion Scheme has taken a new turn with the State Bank of India (SBI) launching mobile banking services in Madhya Pradesh (M.P.) in collaboration with Bhopal-based organization AISECT.
This is the first time such a service has been introduced under Financial Inclusion in any state of the country. Two mobile vans, fitted with ATM and Kiosk banking mechanisms, have started operations in the districts of Hoshangabad and Teekamgarh to provide banking services to the rural population.
Additionally, AISECT and SBI have launched a scheme to benefit the rural migrants who are hesitant to enter corporate banking set-ups for cash remittance purposes and instead rely on traditional, time consuming methods. For such people, the first ever urban banking kiosk, dedicated completely to providing cash remittance, has been introduced in Bhopal. Talking about the launch of these services, SBI’s Chief General Manager Mr. Bhagwant Rao appealed that benefit of such schemes should reach out to maximum number of people. Therefore, SBI-AISECT mobile kiosk banking vans will soon cover other districts of M.P. and Chhattisgarh as well while the remittance outlets will be started in most major towns of M.P.
Santosh Choubey, Director General of AISECT, said, “We have been associated with SBI for Financial Inclusion for the past two years. During this period, rural banking kiosks have been launched at 165 places in M.P. and Chhattisgarh which have done a business of around 5 crores. Till date, about 10,000 accounts have been opened in these kiosks. Now, with the Government’s greater emphasis on achieving 100% financial inclusion within a specified timeframe, schemes like mobile banking have become necessary to reach out to even those villages which have a population of 2000 or less.”
The SBI-AISECT mobile vans would not only act as ATMs for the existing customers of the kiosk banking services but will also allow the remaining population of the villages to open their accounts. “The vans will be covering one village per day to make sure that every single village gets ample opportunity to make use of the services being offered.”
Choubey added: “Moreover, financial inclusion’s primary purpose of ‘banking services for all’ will never be fulfilled without making provisions for the urban poor. Thus, a conscious decision was taken to roll out the remittance counters alongside the introduction of mobile banking services.”
Financial Inclusion is an ambitious project of the Government of India under which it envisions to provide banking services to the hitherto unbanked areas of the country. AISECT, which has partnered with the Government for setting up 2926 Common Service Centers (CSCs) in M.P. and 1487 in Chhattisgarh, currently works as a Business Correspondent (BC) as well as a Business Facilitator (BF) for SBI in the CSC districts but is fast expanding across its widespread network of IT training and services centers. Services offered by the company as an SBI BF include New Account Opening, Loan for House Repairing, Loan for Self Employment, Loan for Dairy Units, Loan for 2/4 Wheeler, Deposit in NHC and Kisan Credit Card. Services delivered by AISECT Centers acting as BCs include account opening in CSC Kiosk, Deposit/Withdrawal in Account and Micro Finance.
According to Choubey, “Financial Inclusion is an enormous and extremely prestigious project which requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders. I also believe that technology will play a vital role in the success of this endeavor and therefore we are banking on technology in the form of mobile kiosks to make banking services accessible at the grass root level.”
These latest initiatives are in sync with AISECT’s endeavors over the last 25 years to make IT education and services available to semi-urban and rural India. The company, which has a network of over 8000 centers across the country at District and Block levels, has been involved in various skill development and capacity building initiatives of the Central and State Governments. Over the years, AISECT has been involved in prestigious projects like Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Indira Suchana Shakti Yojana, Swashakti Project, Tejaswini Project and SRMS Project among others.
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