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Fino takes money transfer facility to the poor

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EASY REMITTANCE.

Mr Manish Khera
Mr Manish Khera

Anjana Chandramouly

Bangalore, Nov. 1

Ram Lal, a 40-year-old labourer from Uttar Pradesh (UP), works at a construction site in Mumbai earning about Rs 200 a day, with no idea on how to make banking transactions. He saves every paise to support his family in Uttar Pradesh, and sends money home once in two months through his friends or postal money order.

Saving and storing money was a tough call for him. But now, all that he does is walk up to the closest business correspondent (BC) transaction point, deposit money and even remit it to his family in Uttar Pradesh at any time of the day!

Financial Inclusion Network and Operations (Fino), a company focussed on the BC model being rolled out in the country to achieve financial inclusion, has now added a money transfer feature to its ‘Fino Tijori', a self-operated stand-alone machine that offers the functionality of account deposit, balance enquiry, mini statement, and request for loan options.

“We are trying to deploy these machines in order to help people deposit these small sums of money throughout the day, and thus inculcating a saving habit,” Mr Manish Khera, Chief Executive Officer, Fino, told Business Line. Fino has already tied up with Union Bank of India and ICICI Bank, and is in talks with other banks too.

How it works

Both the remitter and beneficiary are given individual bank accounts operated with a biometric card on Fino BC transaction points. The remitter can deposit money at any Fino point, transfer the money to the beneficiary by instructing the BC agent to do so and the beneficiary can withdraw from any other Fino point using his/her secure biometric card. And if customers have registered their mobile numbers with Fino, an alert is also sent to both the remitter and beneficiary.

The money, which is deposited in a bank account, even earns a 3.5 per cent interest, till it is remitted to the beneficiary.

Expanding the network

Currently, the remittance origination centres are in Delhi, Mumbai, and Surat, while destination points are in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region. “We have deployed 100 micro-deposit machines (MDMs) in Delhi and Mumbai, and would be testing the same with respect to customer convenience/usage and acceptability,” said Mr Khera.

According to him, in the three months since its launch the company is handling about 3,500 transactions a day with an aggregate value of Rs 2 crore.

With plans to scale up to 200 MDMs by March 2011, the company plans to offer the facilities from 11 origination cities and also add Gujarat and Bihar to its destination network.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 2, 2010)
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