Today, the world is talking about Financial Inclusion. Financial inclusion became the buzzword, as a result of findings related to financial exclusion and its direct correlation to poverty. Financial exclusion refers to those processes that prevent poor and disadvantaged social groups from gaining access to the financial system. It has important implications for uneven development because it amplifies geographical differences in levels of income and economic development. Thus, financial inclusion appeared and emerged as a great promise to scale down the poverty levels, worldwide. Financial inclusion is defined as the delivery of financial services at the most affordable costs to the weakest and most abandoned class of society. Predictably, Financial Inclusion features amongst the most important agendas of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). India was introduced to this term for the first time in 2005, by the then chairman of Indian Bank, K.C. Chakraborthy. This was soon made a mandate for financial institutions in India. To abide by this mandate, States & Union Territories across the country are thriving hard to increase the population covered by the benefits of Financial Inclusion. The Reserve Bank of India, charged with implementing this goal of ‘Affordable Banking to All’, has done its bit to ensure that number of beneficiaries keep increasing each year.
In a country as diverse as India, financial inclusion could be a revolution to contain ever-increasing levels of poverty. Several measures have been initiated in this regard. Opening of no-frills accounts, relaxation on know-your-customer (KYC) norms, engaging business correspondents (BCs), use of technology, adoption of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), simplified branch authorization, and opening of branches in unbanked rural centers, etc., are some of the commendable efforts so far in this direction.
Despite these efforts, things are easier said than done in a country as wide, as populous and as remote as India. The underprivileged are illiterate and therefore totally unaware of the benefits that they can reap out from the mandate of financial inclusion. Besides that, the deposits these remote branches attract do not match the costs incurred for building brick & mortar bank premises. Even the BCs being used as alternatives need some assistance to achieve targets.
However, much of these problems can be addressed by the use of technology. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas like Information Technology (IT). IT in its advanced stage leads to Digital Transformation. Digital transformation is much more than going paperless. It is about transforming the lives of people across societies through effective use of ever evolving robust methodologies.
Newgen, a pioneer of the IT product industry in India, has helped transform the lives of people across the world in the last 21 years through their innovative products and nascent ideas. Newgen thoroughly empathize with challenges faced by governments and financial institutions to implement the mandates of citizen-centric financial inclusion. To assist governments and financial institutions in delivering basic financial services to the unbanked, Newgen has come up with a range of innovative products to catalyze Financial Inclusion like never before.
ZapIn,its revolutionary mobile capture application enables financial institutions to comply with the principles of financial inclusion in the most buoyant and cost-effective manner, by taking banking at the customer’s doorstep even beyond the most secluded areas of the country. ZapIn is a multi-platform mobile application, especially designed for field executives to capture information and initiate its processing, in real time, at the point of customer contact. This patent pending product from Newgen facilitates BCs to reach upto the frontiers and introduce benefits of financial inclusion to the side-tracked. Mobile capture allows the BCs to capture physical application forms and supporting documents along with key metadata and initiate the process of customer on-boarding, instantly. Based on the application, certain key fields can be entered and images of Application form, KYC form and other supporting documents can be captured using a built-in camera, compressed to transferable sizes and immediately sent to the back-office for processing, using a GPRS/3G connection. Thus, the time lost in deporting paper documents from point of capture to the processing centre is bypassed in a most economical way.
OmniDocson Cloud from Newgen software is another effort in this direction of accomplishing absolute financial inclusion. The collation of a robust document management system with cloud computing has resulted in conception of an omnipresent platform which can be used to create, capture, manage, deliver and archive large volumes of documents required for providing banking fundamentals to the neglected ones. OmniDocs on Cloud, unlike any on-premise solution, can be installed with minimal infrastructure support. The pay per usage advantage of cloud-based solutions ensures that BCs can access any information or any document, anywhere and anytime in a most cost-efficient manner. The only infrastructure these BCs need is a laptop or a mobile phone, with a minimum bandwidth support of an online network.
Cheque Truncation System from Newgen Software extends the doctrine of paperless office to processing of physical cheques. Payment and Settlement process is critical to ensuring efficiency of financial inclusion. Cheque Truncation System or CTS help banks to reduce time taken for clearance of cheques. Physical copy of a cheque is replaced by a scanned copy and this scanned copy is electronically transferred across concerned bank branches in a more secure, cost-effective way while simultaneously ensuring reduced processing time. CTS is a weapon to shorten time-lags in providing banking services to the needy, therefore perfectly abiding the mandates of financial inclusion.
With these and many more innovative products, Newgen Software is determined to assist governments and financial institutions in their endeavor of attaining total financial inclusion.