India is a vast country with people having different financial goals and understanding of money. While urban India has become woke of financial services, investment, and knowing how to manage money the right way, there are many households in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of the country that are not financially literate or have no or limited access to financial services. They are not aware of the banking facilities and services and their functioning. That’s when Banking Correspondent comes into the picture. They not only help people with banking facilities in remote or rural areas but also make them understand the importance of saving and investing. They also help them in taking loans for their businesses.
In the last few years, we have seen significant growth in the number of BCs that are being hired by Banks for financial inclusion. As per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) FY22 annual report, the total number of business correspondents in villages has increased from more than 11.9 lakh in 2020 to 18.44 lakh in 2021, reflecting the penetration and scale that banks generate partnering with Businesses Correspondents. The total number of bank BCs in villages during 2010 stood at 34,174, while banks in urban areas reported having 447 BCs during the same period. The data highlights how significantly banks have been using the BC network to reach the masses.
Here is a list of 5 companies that are making banking services easier in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities of India. These companies are leaving no stone unturned to educate and help people in rural India.
SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
SAVE Solutions Pvt. Ltd., India’s leading banking correspondent network serves approximately 21 million rural Indians in over 8600 villages across 559 districts in 28 states and 3 union territories. With an estimated network of over 12,000 Customer Service Points (CSP), it is this last-mile banking service provider that has a footfall of 400,000 clients on a daily basis. The socio-economic development-focused organization provides services to rural unbanked people. It brings them under the umbrella of organized finance, with the help of its four privately held subsidiaries in NBFC-MSME, NBFC- MFI Business, HFC, and Asset Side BC. SAVE Solutions provides financing services to untouched and underserved communities.
SAVE’s representatives conduct financial literacy camps in rural areas, educating the communities about the benefits of banking, saving, insurance, pension, etc. On the basis of these camps, potential Customer Service Point Coordinators are identified and encouraged to start their CSPs, enabling them to establish a sustainable source of income.
SAVE’s CSP network, spread across the length and breadth of India offers varied banking-related services in rural and unbanked areas. These services include Bank Account Opening, Cash Deposit, Withdrawal, Transactions through Aadhar Card and Rupay Card, Fixed Deposit, PMJJBY, PMJDY, PMSBY, and APY schemes. The opening of these service points makes banking easy and convenient for the local communities, providing flexible banking services in their vicinity.
Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd (AFPL)
Annapurna Finance Pvt. Ltd (AFPL) was established with the purpose of serving the economically weaker sections of society, by bringing them to the mainstream and providing need-based financial services at their doorstep. The focus has been clear, to reach the areas where formal financial institutions find it difficult to settle. Annapurna Finance’s objectives are not only limited to outreach, but it also believes in providing financial and technical education and strengthening entrepreneurial skills for the effective use of credit. Annapurna Finance over the years has continued to innovate its products and delivery mechanisms to make the whole product life cycle of micro-credit as relevant as possible for its clients. It has helped build a bridge between economic opportunity and outcome. The aim is to offer multiple need-based products that can serve specifically all the customer’s life cycle needs. Annapurna Finance was established in 2009 and is now one of the top ten NBFC-MFIs in the country.
Starfin is India’s fastest distribution-powered sales-enabling services company that helps global corporations achieve their business objective. With time-tested and proven strategies that have been deployed now, Starfin assisted by its highly motivated workforce, and cutting-edge processes works with clients to make their businesses competitive in their markets. Staffin, with a huge network of partners and channels, provides clients with a clear understanding of how the services offered will impact their sales. Our goal is to improve the return on investment of our customers.
Drishtee is a social enterprise that enables the community access to critical services and products, market linkages or channel support, Capital as well as Capacity Building support to the rural micro-entrepreneurs as well as the community at large. Drishtee identifies and creates a number of “milkman routes” in a given district. Through each route, it caters to a minimum of 20 – 25 villages. As a social enterprise, Drishtee works towards creating an impact in villages by creating an ecosystem of micro-enterprises run by entrepreneurs with a specific focus on women. We identify a number of potential entrepreneurs and train them on the specific skill sets required. In each route, Drishtee provides a sound kiosk-based platform to deliver services such as Health, Education, Banking, Micro-finance, and livelihood services such as rural BPOs along with opportunities to provide market access and linkages for physical products such as eyeglasses, mobile phones, and agricultural products.
Sub-K is a digital finance (Fintech) company that offers affordable, accessible, and scalable financial and payment services to the BoP segment. Sub-K seeks to bridge the digital divide, and create a ‘financially included’ society, through a robust and widespread retail distribution network and in-house Fintech solutions. Sub-K bridges the financial divide between banks and the un/underbanked population by effectively leveraging technology and local entrepreneurship. Sub-K creates a high-tech-high-touch operating infrastructure at the last mile to deliver meaningful financial services through a capital-light model and a wide distribution network. Sub-K offers savings, credit, remittance, insurance, G2C, and B2C payments as channel partners for formal financial institutions. Unlike single-product FinTechs and exclusive digital platforms, Sub-K’s innovation lies in offering diversified financial services through digital solutions coupled with last-mile connectivity. As a result, our services are cost-effective, customer-centric, highly accessible, and crafted according to the needs of the financially and digitally excluded population.