The AEPS systems empower even the most marginalized and underserved Indians.
New Delhi: Spice Money, a DiGiSPICE Group company dedicated towards applying fin-tech solutions to achieve greater financial inclusion, has taken another strong step towards this objective through its ‘Micro-ATMs’ similar in design to Point-of-Sale card machines.
Spice Money has already been rolling out the cash withdrawal facility across its 2,00,000 merchant points through Aadhaar Enabled Payment System. It continues to add thousands of merchants to this network every month.
Considering the fact that Confederation of ATM industry (CATMi) has announced its plans to shut down nearly 50 per cent ATMs due to high maintenance cost of software and equipment upgrades, Spice Money has taken up the pressing task of developing an alternate transactional framework.
The enterprise’s AEPS systems enable thumb-print driven transactions through, while its Micro-ATMs allow users carrying debit cards to do essential financial transactions. The AEPS systems have already reached across 2 lakh customer touchpoints, while more than 10,000 micro-ATM devices spread across the states of UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa are easing financial operations for millions of Indians every day.
Plummeting number of ATMs is a huge crisis facing the country at the moment. The problem is compounded further by the increasing number of bank accounts through initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which lie unused due to limited accessibility to ATMs.
Spice Money’s Micro ATMs aim to bridge this growing need gap by allowing users to carry out essential financial transactions by empowering local retailers and kirana store owners with these devices. The AEPS systems empower even the most marginalized and underserved Indians, bringing the convenience of thumb-print enabled transactions at their doorstep.
While India is digitizing rapidly, a major segment of Bharat’s population is still underserved, specifically when it comes to financial operations. The rural-urban schism is huge, with only 49 bank branches per million people in rural areas against 139 in metros and only 110 ATMs per million in semi-urban and rural India as compared to a whopping 305 in urban India.
Considering the ATM shortage crisis, the situation can only worsen further. Spice Money’s twin solutions-Aadhaar Enabled Payment Systems and Micro ATM devices-tackle these problems most efficiently. They allow essential financial transactions such as Cash Withdrawal and Balance Enquiry. Users can swipe their debit cards on the machine and withdraw the respective amount of cash. Balance enquiry through a secure PIN/ID based system can also be done. Through its focused efforts, Spice Money has established itself as one of the frontrunners in strengthening the national banking system by initiating a parallel, and less costly, network of financial empowerment.
Commenting on the same, Dilip Modi, Chairman, DiGiSPICE said, “Bridging the gap between ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ is at the heart of Spice Money’s efforts. Our Micro-ATMs and AEPS system have enabled people to put money into their accounts at their convenience and transact more than they ever could before. It is through the power of technologically advanced solutions such as advanced analytics, AI, and new delivery platforms that the dream of a truly financially inclusive India can be achieved, making ‘Bharat’ as empowered, and aspirational as the rest of India!”
India has the world’s second largest number of internet users and is expected to have more than 450 million smartphone users by 2022.
Considering the same, the best way to achieve greater financial inclusion is to use the power of digital technology and make every individual a prospective bank, rather than make them travel 15-20km to even locate an ATM! As the formal banking sector becomes more technologically aligned and strategically focused, they are visualizing enterprises like Spice Money as effective partners rather than competitors to be better prepared for the future of banking.