Amidst the growing divide in rural and urban vaccination against Covid-19, many payment and fintech companies are working in rural areas to encourage people to get vaccinated and help register them on the CoWIN platform.

The lack of smartphones, illiteracy and inadequate knowledge of English are common barriers in rural areas for people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, apart from concerns over possible side effects that are keeping some others away.

“We have leveraged our over 15 lakh PayNearby retail touchpoints to create community awareness around the program and assist citizens to overcome tech and language barriers and seamlessly register themselves on the CoWIN app. Owing to this drive, 2,62,303 retailers across the country have helped register more than 15,85,490 citizens,” said Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, Managing Director and CEO, PayNearby, adding that there has been growing interest in the campaign, with more retailers checking content on this module in the last few weeks

Similarly, rural focussed fintech Spice Money too has been enabling customers to register for Covid-19 vaccination.

“Spice Money adhikaris or entrepreneurs are helping to build awareness on the need to get vaccinated and get customers registered on the CoWIN platform. We have enabled a feature on our platform where using our app, the merchant partner can fill in details of the customer on the CoWIN platform and help them get appointments. We have seen over 1 lakh clicks on the CoWIN icon and believe a lot of it will translate into bookings and vaccinations,” said Dilip Modi, founder, Spice Money.

The company is hoping that it can do more in the space to track how many have customers got bookings and have taken the first and second doses as well as any areas with a shortage of vaccine.

“We hope to collate and publish the data to help the government if possible,” Modi said.

Noida based FinTech startup BANKIT, through its DigiMitra outlets, is also assisting the rural population in registering for vaccination and hopes to handhold over 22 lakh citizens across the country.

Payments firm Eko India has worked out another approach to boost vaccination in rural areas.

“We have earmarked ₹1 crore to be given to our entrepreneurs who get themselves vaccinated. We are loudly encouraging our entire network to get vaccinated as soon as possible. When they share their vaccination certificate, we are giving them an incentive from our side,” said Abhinav Sinha, co-founder, Eko India.

Many members of the Business Correspondent Federation of India are now working with customers to promote vaccination. In addition, Common Service Centres are also working to facilitate the registration of users.