India: FINO smart card to drive remittance in rural areas
Mumbai, India, December, 26 2007 -
Financial Information Network & Operations Ltd. (FINO) a company promoted by many banks and financial institutions, has introduced a smart card based remittance service in India. This service will allow a person in rural areas to receive money.
121 micro-finance institutions (MFIs) presently engaged with FINO will be able to provide this services to their clients in the initial stages. Rishi Gupta, CFO and President Sales and Marketing FINO said, "with a migrant population of 30.7 crore, domestic remittances contribute Rs 40,000-60,000 crore, while international remittance stands at Rs 1 trillion (one lakh crore) on annual basis".
At present the remittance business is conducted by banks and post offices in India, with the rural sector mostly serviced by post offices. Banks charge around 10% as the commission for remittance while post offices charge 5% for such services.
Currently post offices do not accept money orders above Rs.5000 and banks lack rural penetration. This smart card based remittance service involving micro-finance institutions will solve both of these problems.
The entire operation is based around a biometric enabled multi-application smart card, which is provided to the end customer. This card stores the biometric identification, demographic details, account details along with personal and family details of the customer on a chip embedded on the card. The card also has a photograph of the customer.
FINO representatives are equipped with a terminal, which enables activating, reading or deactivating the smart card and associated transactions with a micro-finance institution. This terminal equipment is designed to support field level activities for remittance such as:
- Select Account number for transaction
- Select the card number to which remittance is to be sent along with the amount of transaction
- View Account Details
- Print Mini Statement
A savings account can also be integrated by a client and it can be used to automatically route remittance transactions.