Money & Banking

FINO to expand financial inclusion business

Anjana Chandramouly Bangalore Feb. 15 | Updated on March 11, 2011

Financial Inclusion Network and Operations (FINO), a company focussed on the business correspondent (BC) model for financial inclusion in the country, plans to more than double its BC points in the next one year. The company is currently working with over 20 banks, three insurance companies, 10 State Governments and some Union ministries, and has over 26 million customers.

“We currently have 11,000 BC points, which will grow to 30,000 in a year. FINO currently has 80 offices, which will grow to 200 in a year. The employee strength will also go up to meet the demand of business,” Mr Rishi Gupta, Chief Financial Officer, FINO, told Business Line. The expansion will be in line with the growing demand in the country for these services, thanks to the great push from the Reserve Bank of India for financial inclusion and banks accelerating their pace to reach the un-banked.

Scouting for PE

FINO is currently finalising its business plan for the next two years, and plans to “approach investors once the internal planning is complete”, he said, without divulging financial details. Industry estimates peg the market size that can be addressed through technology-enabled financial inclusion programme at over 500 million un-banked or under-banked customers. With such a big market, the company is in preliminary talks with private equity players for funds.

According to Mr Gupta, the company has seen over 100 per cent growth every year since inception five years ago. “The impetus to electronic benefit transfer in government disbursement for NREGA and SSP will further push the business,” he explained. Going forward, the focus will be more customer-centric, and efforts are on to come out with new products, which, he expected, would see an “increased usage of the system and increase in transaction flow”.

FINO is currently working on two products — remittance functionality using a micro-deposit machine, and mobile wallet using customers' mobile phones leading to remittance transactions. Mr Gupta said the pilot projects of both these products would be launched soon.

Published on March 11, 2011

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