India lives on mobile phones. Everywhere you go, you find people moving their fingers rapidly over the screens of their mobile phones. India now has more mobile subscribers than bank account holders.
“In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything”.
- Matt Galligan
The key to the growth and progress of the nation is financial inclusion. “Every Indian has at least a savings bank account”. The humble mobile phone might just be the answer India seeks, to promote financial inclusion.
If you reside in a rural area, you might migrate to a city in search of work. Your family would stay behind in your village.
You have to send money to your family back home. So how will you send money to your family in the village?
You send money through your fellow workers and friends. Your fellow workers may not give your hard earned money to your family. Your fellow workers could lose this money while travelling. There is also a chance of pilferage.
If your answer is no, the revolution led by the simple mobile can solve your problem. The trick is a simple financial mobile service tool called the M-Wallet. You can send and receive money over the mobile and also pay utility bills. This is a mobile based service which does not even require internet connectivity. You do not even require a bank account to avail this service.
You need to understand that India has a large number of banks, but only few bank branches exist in rural areas. If you send money using mobile service tools such as M-Wallet this problem is easily solved.
You and your family members may be eligible for cash subsidies and benefits from the Government, through schemes such as MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, PAHAL scheme for LPG subsidies and social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.
Most of the time you and your family never see this money, as middlemen and unscrupulous elements pocket it. You might not even know you are eligible for this amount. Middlemen exploit your ignorance. Red tape and bureaucracy (It takes so long for your file to get processed, that you never see it) is also a problem.
This problem can be solved by using the M-Wallet. The game changer here is the business correspondent. The mobile operator has a tie-up with banks and becomes a business correspondent. The business correspondent (could even be the agents of the mobile operator), come to your doorstep to open a bank account for you.
You need to fill up KYC (Know Your Customer), norms which is mandatory in order to open a bank account. The agents of the mobile operator (business correspondents), come to your doorstep and give you the KYC forms. You fill the KYC forms and they deliver it to the bank. This helps to take banking to the unbanked.
Many mobile operators have operations across India and deep in rural areas. The Business Correspondents (agents of the mobile operators), travel across rural India and open accounts for the unbanked.
In India a large number of people reside in rural areas. However many of them do not have a bank account. The saving grace…Most of them have mobile subscriptions. This means that financial mobile service tool the M-Wallet, can be used to promote financial inclusion across India.
A large number of people in rural areas are uneducated and financially illiterate. They do have mobiles, but cannot understand how the M-Wallet functions. This is where the Business Correspondent plays an important role.
He has to educate people on what an m-wallet does and how its use benefits them. The business correspondent has to promote financial inclusion in India.
Smartphone prices are falling, making them affordable to the rural masses. Specially designed smart phones used mainly in rural areas are available at cheap prices. With Digital inclusion (Internet connectivity available for everyone), and the availability of cheap smart phones, the goal of financial inclusion can easily be achieved.
M-Wallet is a game changer and can promote financial inclusion across the Nation. It helps India leapfrog into the 21st century.
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