Chalking out the Gully Gully Fino campaign, Fino Payments Bank has taken steps to improve banking access in Kerala, by adding another 3,000 new merchants by March 2023.

Right now, the bank has around 5,000 points and are on boarding 300 new banking points every month. “To penetrate deeper and reach out to customers across 1,670 villages, we are keen to partner with many more enterprising small business owners”, said Himanshu Mishra, Senior Divisional Head (West & South).

Branch-less approach

The campaign has ensured banking presence across all the 14 districts in the State. “We have ventured into the five southern States deploying branch-less approach creating our own network of over 75,000 merchant points”, he said.

The branch-less banking points are through small business owners such as kirana, mobile repair, photocopy, stationery shops that are present in the neighbourhood. With micro ATM and Aadhar enabled payment services, the shops have become local banking points.

Quoting State Level Bankers Committees’ (SLBC) March 2022 data, Mishra said the total number of branches of all PSU, private, regional rural banks, small finance banks and cooperative banks in Kerala put together was 7,622. Of which, only about 12 per cent or 925 branches are present in rural areas, while semi urban locations account for 66 per cent and urban areas 21.5 per cent of the bank branches.

Breaking barriers

Setting up branches across all the villages in the State is not feasible for banks. An alternate approach is the need of the hour. This is where Fino’s branchless approach plays a key role, he added.

Mohammed Inayathullah, Zonal Head (South) said more than 330 outlets of BPCL is the strategic partner of the bank and acts as banking points. “With barriers to banking removed, we have seen increased adoption and usage of banking at our points. Additionally, it is an opportunity for merchants to earn extra income and goodwill of the customers”, he said.

At Fino points, any bank’s customer can transact, open a new Fino Bank account with instant debit card issuance, do deposits, withdrawals, money transfer and access third party products such as life, health and motor insurance, referral loans and pay utility bills.

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