Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Remote E-Banking in India

Villagers gain access through biometric verification and cell-phones.
August 12, 2008

Kasaghatta, India: It’s a 90-minute walk from this southern Indian village–one of 730,000 in India–to Doddabenavengala, the nearest town with a bank branch. Until a few months ago, Karehanumaiah, a 55-year-old agricultural laborer, had no bank account, which also meant he had no access to formal credit. (He would have to pay 10 percent monthly interest to informal lenders to, say, borrow $45 to buy a goat.) But that all changed in recent months.

In this video, Karehanumaiah uses a desktop terminal to deposit 150 rupees (about $3.50) into his new account at Corporation Bank, with help from Muniyamma Ramanjanappa, a village resident who conducts these transactions in her concrete house as a bank representative. First, a smart card and a thumbprint scan prove his identity. Next, Ramanjanappa updates the bank balance information on his smart card by connecting the terminal to the bank database with a cell phone. Finally, Karehanumaiah hands Ramanjanappa the cash and gets a receipt for his deposit (which brings his balance up to 160 rupees). To their left is Ram Sirupurapu, executive director of Integra Microsystems, the maker of the terminal. Ramanjanappa makes weekly trips to the Doddabenavengala branch with the cash. And now that Karehanumaiah has a bank account, he can borrow money from the bank at rates of between 8.5 and 13 percent annually–far less than in the informal system–and gain a toehold into the formal economy.

Ninety percent of India’s rural residents lack bank accounts, and a variety of technologies are being applied to the problem. Other efforts include using cell phones to make payments and execute bank transactions in a nation that is enrolling a staggering eight million new cell-phone accounts monthly, many of them in rural areas.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.