Monday, January 09, 2006

Innovation, ICICI style

This one from Sucheta Dalals column in Indian express.

... Rural markets, says Kamath (CEO of ICICI Bank), would be viable only if costs were further shrunk to a fourth of normal banking costs even in India. This would be impossible through the conventional banking network.

ICICI’s challenge was to find affordable technology and new delivery mechanisms for appraisal, lending and recovering tiny loans of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 each. Creating these structures meant getting past social and infrastructure bottlenecks such as illiteracy, lack of electricity and telecom connectivity. So a solar-powered ATM, operating on wireless technology which uses biometric identification instead of the standard PIN cards was one answer.

However, ICICI Bank is more likely to pursue a better and lower cost alternative more aggressively in the form of point-of-sale terminal attached to the local bania store. This involves the same biometric identification, but since the bania uses and deposits cash extensively, it will marry his financing needs with that of the bank customer...

Read the full piece...click the link above

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