Anurag Gupta
Anurag Gupta
Founder & CEO, A Little World Private Limited-SBI

Smart Cards help reduce the challenges faced in making payment at different levels like ticket window or the grocery. With the use of smart cards, the banking system can really reach a different plane, opines Anurag Gupta, Founder & CEO, A Little World Private Limited-SBI

Anurag Gupta
Anurag Gupta
Founder &
CEO, A Little World Private Limited-SBI

The relevance of A Little World (ALW) has increased ever since the announcement of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), an ambitious financial inclusion programme of the Central Government. ALW works extensively with the State Bank of India (SBI) across all states in India. Along with SBI, A Little World has written some of the first chapters of India’s financial inclusion story. SBI owns 20 per cent equity in the company, and also represents the management of A Little World.

Along with the State Bank of India, A Little World Private Limited has launched Smart Card, which works for payments i.e. for automatic fare collection, identification and access control. SBI brings trust and credibility for all stakeholders. ‘Smart Change’ is a quick transaction platform and takes just a quarter second to complete a transaction. Working on the ‘tap and go’ mode, it requires no pin, signature or authentication. A key attribute to this product is that instead of merchants being charged, the converse business model of this platform is to charge a nominal fee to the customers who use this platform for multiple purposes. The charge is Rs 10 per month as a flat fee and if they want SMS alerts on daily basis, they pay an additional Rs 5 for a month. SBI acts as an issuer and settlement bank and municipal corporation acts as facilitator for various citizen services like daily payments, automatic actions, etc.

Journey of ‘A Little World’
  • 2006: Set up India’s first Business Correspondent outlets to provide last mile basic banking services in the remotest villages in India. One of the world’s first commercial scale implementations on NFC mobiles, which were integrated with biometrics and receipt printing. At present, A Little World operates over 10,000 rural microbanking outlets covering all states of India.
  • 2007: Pioneered payment of government benefits using mobiles and biometric authentication, starting with the first ever biometric payments for pensions and NREGA in Warangal in Andhra Pradesh from April 2007. We have enrolled over 18 million beneficiaries for biometric bases accounts in villages.
  • 2009: Started the first ever instant remittance facilities for migrants outside of Bank branches. Started in Surat in 2009. We currently have mobile-based remittance outlets in 120 cities in India, handling about 0.5 billion USD in cash annually.
  • 2012: First fully online payment system (cash-in/out, funds transfer) integrated with Aadhaar biometrics database.

Smart cards can be accessed

  • Daily payments at grocers, pharmacies, cafes, etc.
  • Daily use in Public Transport (BRTS, City Buses)
  • Municipal Corporations for a ‘Smart City’ Card
  • Gated Enclaves: Apartments, Schools / Colleges, Factories, Campuses
  • SBI e-Pay for load by popular payment instruments

Achievements so far:

  • Gone live with SBI and six other major partners
  • India’s biggest dairy and grocery retail chains (Amul, Mother Dairy)
  • India’s biggest public transport operator (UPSRTC)
  • Municipal Corporations (Surat and Bhopal – early stage of implementation)
  • First campus implementations are under way
  • Several Smart City Card implementations are in pipeline

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