NXP joins A Little World for facilitating rural banking
NXP and A Little World have collaborated to bring a next generation solution that will let over 45,000 people in rural areas access full featured banking services at their village.
NXP has designed a mobile that encloses an RFID card, which will work with A Little World’s micro banking platform ZERO.
RFID is a short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables consumers to securely exchange and store all kinds of information, simply by bringing two devices close together – such as a mobile with an ATM.
The mobile acts as a branch of the bank by storing the entire database of customers in the village and neighbouring areas within the phone’s memory, protected by a high security chip built into the phone. The mobile encloses a smartcard, which biometrically stores the identity of the customer such as name, address, photograph, fingerprint templates and relevant details of the savings or loan accounts held by the issuing bank.
The RFID cards being used in the pilot use the same chip that is embedded in the newly issued e-Passports in more than 35 countries worldwide, including the US, countries in Europe, and Singapore by NXP.
Seven banks have deployed a project led by NXP Semiconductors and A Little World in over 450 villages across four states in India - Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh. The pilot project brought customer service points equipped with new generation NFC enabled mobile phones, contactless RFID smart cards and integrated biometrics.
For the participating banks, it is an important step that will eliminate the cost and effort to set up physical branches in rural areas, while providing full services for cash deposits, cash withdrawals, utility payments, money transfers, micro-insurance, and cashless payments.
Mr Anurag Gupta, CEO of A Little World, remarked, “The ZERO platform based on a slew of new technologies is now the benchmark solution that many others are looking to emulate. We have carried out pilot projects with State Bank of India in villages located in some of the most inaccessible and difficult terrains of the country such as Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and remote villages in Andhra Pradesh. ”
“In Warangal, we have also worked with Union Bank, Axis Bank, Andhra Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank in a collaborative project between six banks and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, being directly supervised by Reserve Bank of India,” he added.
“According to the Reserve Bank of India figures, approximately 40 per cent of Indians lack access to formal financial services and are largely ‘unbanked’,” informed Mr Rajeev Mehtani, Vice-President and Managing Director, NXP Semiconductors India, in a release.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashok Chandak, Director NXP Semiconductor, added, “The ZERO platform uses contactless technology from NXP Semiconductors in an innovative way with the potential to bring about rapid deployment of IT-enabled financial inclusion in villages and to provide mainstream financial services to rural citizens through a mini core banking system right inside their villages. This will also ensure that benefits disbursed by various Governmental programmes like social security pensions and wages under NREGA reach the intended beneficiaries quickly and at a lesser cost. From the point of view of the bank, the platform is simple, secure, cost effective and has the potential to provide multiple services to the customer via a single channel.”