Infosys sees huge market for Finacle in rural banking

Balaji Narasimhan Bangalore | Updated on March 16, 2011

Infosys Technologies sees rural banking as its next big opportunity for its banking product, Finacle.

Infosys Technologies global head, Finacle, Mr Haragopal Mangipudi, told Business Line that regional rural banking is a major area of growth for Infosys because of the Government's thrust on financial inclusion. He pointed out that RRBs have been allocated Rs 500 crore by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, in the recent Budget which opens up a huge opportunity for companies that own banking products.

Mr Mangipudi said with its banking product, it is a win-win situation for Infosys.

For example, while Wipro bagged a five-year deal to drive Canara Bank's regional rural bank scheme, the software product it will be using will be Infosys' Finacle.

“Think of a large 100-year bank with 30 million customers, which wants to get to 100 million in 36 months. How will they do it?” he asked, and pointed out that rural banking was the way to go for many banks that wanted to get more customers.

“According to conservative estimates, around 145 million people in India have access to banks, so there is a huge untapped market out there,” pointed out Mr Mangipudi. And while the benefit for the rural person is that he gets access to banking, it also helps increase the ‘float' of money.

Highlighting this, Mr Mangipudi said, “Think of a labourer making Rs 2,000 per month. He may send Rs 500 to his mother in the village and spend Rs 200 on himself, but some money still remains in the account.” While this labourer, who earlier used to draw salary as cash, benefits from banking, so does the bank, which can loan the money in his account.

It is for this reason that Infosys has ensured that Finacle on the mobile platform doesn't need any special hardware. Mr Mangipudi said that it can work on any mobile, from a basic handset to a smart phone. This way, even the low-end handsets found in rural India can be used for mobile banking, said Mr Haragopal.

He said while studies have indicated that the uninvested capital worldwide is around $2.3 trillion, nobody has done a similar study in India. However, the market could be as big as Rs 10,000 crore.

“While the global figure of $2.3 trillion is based on an international study, nobody has done a similar study for India. However, if you look at a population of a billion in India, and if everybody wants to save at least Rs 100, you have at least Rs 10,000 crore that banks can tap.” And if these banks run Finacle, Infosys gets to make money on every transaction.

Published on March 16, 2011

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