Money & Banking

Wields the brush to promote financial inclusion

Satyanarayan Iyer K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on September 26, 2012

Want to let villagers know what your company is doing? Just paint the exteriors of your agent’s house in the village in the company colours. FINO PayTech has hit upon this strategy to connect with the villagers and in the process assist banks in their financial inclusion drive. It is getting the exteriors of houses of its agents in villages painted in its own colours as well as that of its banking partner.

The move is aimed at informing villagers of services such as remittances, lending, and pre-paid instruments. The company is a third party provider of financial inclusion services to banks. Banks tap companies such as FINO to reach out services to un-banked regions in the country. FINO PayTech pays a business correspondent (or its agent) a monthly salary of Rs 2,000-5,000 in rural areas and between Rs 5,000 and 10,000 in urban centres.

Chief Executive officer Manish Khera feels that with this salary a person is well off doing only this (being an agent) and does not require any other income source.

The company plans to increase the number of business correspondents to one lakh and its customer base to 100 million by 2015.

The most important factor while hiring an agent is trust because banking is based on trust, said Khera.

“The key is to manage employee-churn, so that people believe in the business. So, we hire a person who belongs to the area,” he said.

As the Finance Ministry wants banks to set up infrastructure in a targeted area of 20 clusters and serve customers in those clusters, FINO PayTech is working with banks to set up infrastructure to engage customers with remittances, lending and insurance.

The success of financial inclusion lies in providing the entire gamut of services. Companies have failed in this space because they provided only one or two banking services. “If as a company you provide only remittance, then where will the customer go for other things?,” Khera asks.

The company hopes that a customer acquired for one service will also be buying the other services from it like insurance, prepaid instruments, among others.

ramkumar.k@thehindu.co.in

satyanarayan.iyer@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 26, 2012

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