Surender Bhandari: Difficult topography and limited availability of resources and infrastructure in rural area makes it virtually impossible for financial institutions to provide banking services through traditional banking. Hence, with new technologies like smart cards, it is possible to offer modern banking services in rural areas as well.
What has been the response?
As we see, the response is very encouraging. Local residents and government officials appreciated the service. Once we launch our full-fledged service customers can enjoy cash deposits, withdrawals, remittance collection, utility bill payments, credit disbursement and so on.
Where else in the world has this worked?
The most successful examples are M Pesa in Kenya, FINO, EKO and ALW in India, Easy Paisa in Pakistan and G Cash in Philippines. However, success depends on the business module, technology and the channels being used. In some places, mobile phone based branchless banking has become successful whereas in other places smart card-based modules have worked. We shall develop and use a business module and technologies appropriate to the place depending on the topography, demography and other available infrastructure.
What are the risks and potential problems?
We have been using latest security features available. Our hardware and software being used for the services are fully compliant with international level security certifications. We are also minimising transactional risk by using multiple factor authentications like biometric/fingerprint verification, voice guidance in local language, smart card with photo and other details printed on it. All these features make the service secure and robust.
Banking on technology, DEWAN RAI in DAILEKH
Dailekh leapfrogs technology to bring banking to rural Nepal