10 startups that are attempting to unseat cash through digital payments in India
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Between April and August last year a small group of people toured some 80 remote villages in Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in an effort to try and give residents of the hinterland access to some basic banking services.
There are around 1,25,000 bank branches in India, for a country of over 1.2 billion people. For many living in the hinterland, accessing them remains an arduous journey to a nearby town or city; and then too, their low-value transactions aren't welcome with open arms.
In 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandated Oxigen Services, a digital payments company, to run a pilot project to see if India's unique ID card project called Aadhaar could be used as a means of authenticating unbanked villagers across India's hinterland.
The pilot, which called for the tour of the 80 villages, was also meant to determine whether Aadhaar could be used to provide the unbanked villagers a means to receive cash in their hamlet itself.