IDFC Bank has tied up the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Krishna District to enable Direct Benefit Transfer through interoperable AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System) micro ATMs which are within easy reach of citizens in every village.
The partnership is the first to demonstrate the implementation of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) based transfers.
It also makes IDFC Bank the first to deliver Direct Benefit Transfer like social security pensions, and in coming days, others schemes like scholarships, LPG subsidies and MGNREGA benefits among others through an interoperable AEPS Micro ATM model, at scale, in a district, in a concentrated manner. The Bank will soon implement this model for the public distribution system (PDS) too, making PDS payments cashless, thereby taking cashless digital banking in rural India to the next level.
The first interoperable social security pension was drawn through an IDFC Bank AEPS Micro ATM on May 1 at Ganapavaram, Mylavaram mandal by Shri Samdipaamu Guravayya in Krishna district. Nearly 32,000 pensioners will be using the bank’s Micro ATM infrastructure to access their benefits in the coming days. Over time, the concentrated coverage of banking services at a village level offered by IDFC Bank is expected to touch the lives of 46 lakh citizens in Krishna district alone.
The bank’s Micro ATM is owned and operated by women members of the self-help groups (SHGs) approved for financial support by the government of Andhra Pradesh. IDFC Bank along with the Krishna district administration, has identified, trained and certified SHG members as individual Banking Correspondents (BCs). For some members, a Micro ATM ownership is the start of a new livelihood micro enterprise, while for others – it means the addition of a new revenue stream. An IDFC Micro ATM agent will cater to customers at Panchayat offices (in the first few days of every month) and later from their respective residences/work areas. These Micro ATMs offer all basic banking services to customers of any bank including deposits, withdrawals and transfers.
Citizens of Krishna district can now draw their entitlements in their neighbourhood itself, by transacting on any of the 500 Micro ATMs deployed by IDFC Bank across villages.
Founder MD & CEO of IDFC Bank, Dr Rajiv Lall said, “Krishna district initiative is a milestone in last mile financial access made possible because of technological interventions. It emphasises the benefits of JAM in reducing leakages, efficient targeting of beneficiaries and delivery of state welfare schemes based on biometric authentication. The initiative is also expected to encourage women entrepreneurship in local communities. It underlines IDFC Bank’s objective of being a private bank with a public purpose.”
District Collector of Krishna, Babu A said, “Krishna district has become the first to initiate DBT, starting with pensions, through interoperable AEPS Micro ATMs at scale, run by SHG members in villages. We realised that citizens spend a lot of time and money on travelling to draw their benefits from bank branches and ATMs that are located at a distance from their residence.”
“The government’s aim is to provide easy access to banking services, while also bringing in transparency and preventing leakages. We believe digital rural banking will address these concerns. IDFC Bank’s innovative and interoperable Micro ATM enables citizens to draw benefits in the vicinity of their homes at all times. It not only saves them time, money and effort; they can now stagger withdrawals, drawing smaller amounts, as the facility is close at hand. We are pleased that IDFC Bank shares our vision and has joined us in our journey to deepen financial access in the state like never before,” he added.
The interoperable Micro ATM functions like a ‘Bank-in-a-Box’, enabling digital transactions, withdrawals and DBT for customers of close to 3000 banks. It also provides instant account opening and activation, working on multiple identifiers including Aadhaar-based authentication, mobile numbers, debit cards and bank account numbers.