Indepay Networks has tied up with Tripura State Co-Operative Bank Limited (TSCB) to launch rural banking services. The company will use a biometric enabled, UID compliant Micro ATM infrastructure to process and deliver rural payments, including those for government schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGA).

The program was piloted at a few branches of TSCB last year, and is now being expanded throughout Tripura, with biometric smart cards are being distributed. Indepay plans to open an extended rural banking branch in each village through the Banking Correspondent model, and also offer non financial  services such as Rail/Air ticket booking and utility bill payments. IndePay has a financial payment and transaction processing business that includes point-of-sale services, card issuance and master merchant acquiring services for debit, prepaid, credit cards, rural banking, electronic distribution of prepaid recharge and content, money transfer and utility bill payment services.

Banking Correspondents on the rise

A few days ago, Airtel and SBI had announced their banking correspondent JV, in which Airtel’s retail network will be used as service points. this was followed by Vodafone announcing a tie-up with ICICI Bank.  Similarly, Nokia tied up with Union Bank of India where Nokia Stores will be the BCs. Idea Cellular also signed up as a banking correspondent to Axis Bank. Tata Indicom and MChek had also received funds from the GSMA Mobile Money for the Unbanked fund to provide Microfinance services in rural areas.

With telecom operators and handset manufacturers, which already have a fairly large retail reach, is there room for service providers like IndePay and Eko to launch the Banking Correspondent model?

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