MANIPAL: Manipal Technologies Limited (MTL) on Friday signed an agreement with Uttar Pradesh Government to train and onboard 8,000 women from Self Help Groups as Banking Correspondent (BC) Sakhis in the State through Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM).
MTL signed the agreement in presence of Rajendra Pratap Singh, Minister for Rural Development, the company said. The project is part of UPSRLM’s mission to train and onboard around 58,000 rural women as BC Sakhis or banking agents, across all the 75 districts of the State, it further said.
The Project ‘Door-Step Banking Services in Rural India’ is aimed at enhancing the access to banking services in villages of all the 75 districts of UP. This will also result in increasing the household income of these rural women self-help groups and educating them in digital financial technologies.
Rajesh Shet, Vice President, MTL said “Our secure & easy-to-use technology solution will now support the rural women in UP to deliver several banking services as well as demonstrate their entrepreneur skills to a larger society. BC Sakhis will be the change-agent to deploy use of digital payments in rural India and offer several new services at the door-steps”. He also added “MTL has been providing digital payment services in 90,000 villages in India. These 8000 BC Sakhis are in addition to 8.5 lakh merchants across rural India, including Karnataka, are already delivering digital payment and banking services to 2.3 crore population with our technology”.
Under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) initiative, each BC Sakhi will receive financial support of Rs 24,000 for the first six months. They will be provided specific training along with integrated POS devices, cash box, fake-currency detector device, etc to deliver seamless banking services in her village. In order to maintain safety and hygiene during the current pandemic, a contactless iris scanner for customer authentication will also be provided.
The initiative by NRLM is a big step towards empowering local women to provide banking and other digital payment services in village gram panchayat so that villagers do not need to travel long distances to access basic banking and payment services.