Money & Banking

Fino Payments Bank looks to other States after success in onboarding women bankers through Bihar’s Jeevika scheme

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on June 30, 2020

Fino Payments Bank, which has been working with the Bihar government to train women through the state’s Jeevika scheme to work as customer service points (CSPs), is now planning to expand the model to other states.

Following 300 women being onboarded under the Bihar government’s scheme since January this year, Fino Payments Bank is now working with the Jharkhand government on a similar programme. It has started appointing agents and is in talks with States, including Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“We started working with Jeevika more than six months ago,” said Darpan Anand, Senior Divisional Head (North), Fino Payments Bank, adding that they onboarded 200 Jeevika merchants in the first quarter before the lockdown, and have now brought in over 100 more such women in the last one month.

Darpan said the bank plans to become more ambitious with the scheme this year and will “take in a four-digit number very soon”.

“The initial pilot study with the 200 ladies went off well. We will be undertaking a study next month with the State Rural Livelihoods Mission,” he further said.

The bank had entered into an agreement with Jeevika in August 2019 to train and onboard women as banking points.

“Often, people in rural hinterlands have to go to the taluka or district just so that they can visit a branch for their financial transactions. Such a partnership allows them to use the services of the agent in the village and also gives the women a source of livelihood,” he further said.

The services of these women bankers were especially useful during disbursing direct benefit transfer (DBT) payments to beneficiaries during the lockdown. As they remain open from 7 am to 7 pm, the women CSPs are always available when villagers need cash. They can earn between ₹5,000 and ₹25,000 a month.

The 200 women bankers onboarded initially have also opened as many as 4,500 CASA accounts for the bank since January.

The Bihar government, through the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS), rolled out the World Bank-aided Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (BRLP), locally known as JEEViKA, for social and economic empowerment of the rural poor.

Published on June 30, 2020

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