Indian government asks Paytm, Oxigen wallet to digitize rural cash

Monday, November 21, 2016

The government has dialled Paytm and Oxigen Wallet to help digitise cash transactions in rural India. The rural development ministry wants to rope in digital wallet firms to make the Rs 40,000 crore turnover of women’s self-help groups (SHGs) cashless and broaden financial inclusion.

The ministry has tied up with banks to smoothen the transfer of money given through welfare schemes following the demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes.

Apart from scheduling special time slots for women beneficiaries and getting bank branch managers to travel to villages, the ministry is also warning villagers to stay away from “unscrupulous elements” in these times. The November 9 currency demonetisation has taken a toll on liquidity, especially in the rural areas.

“The private sector has shown a lot of enthusiasm for this exercise. Even they were not aware of the huge scope for such activities in rural areas,” a senior government official told ET.

The ministry has reached out to Paytm and Oxigen, the official said. The lack of banking facilities in remote rural areas has slowed down transactions and reduced transparency in the usage of loans given by banks through SHGs.

Source: Economic Times (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, rural development