TCS Financial Inclusion Project

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Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/178
Project Category : eGov::Best ICT in Financial Inclusion Initiative of the year
Project Name : TCS Financial Inclusion Project

Details of Applicant :
Name : Ruchi Agarwal
Address : Tata Consultancy Services, Road No.13, Ackruti Business Port. MIDC
City : Mumbai
State : Maharashtra
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 400093

Details of Project/Implementing Agency :
Name of Organisation : Tata Consultancy Services
Address : Tata Consultancy Services,,Road No.13, Ackruti Business Port.,MIDC
City : Mumbai
State : Maharashtra
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 400093
Name of the head of Organisation : Satya Sankar Mishra, Head Business Solutions- India
Website : http://www.tcs.com

Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
Financial Inclusion is a key focus area where TCS brings its business and technology capabilities to address the needs of banks and institutions that offer important services to the rural customer, and thereby contribute to the development initiatives of the Indian government as well as strengthen the bottom of the pyramid presence of institutions in rural areas. TCS FI clientele includes a dozen banks largely PSU banks. To name a few these are Indian Bank, Bank of India, BoB, UBI, ICICI etc. Our commitment to the Financial Inclusion sector is reflected in our mandate to provide FI services to over 20 mn customers across 20,000 villages with over 2 mn customers already enrolled in over 5000 villages across 15 states. TCS FI Technology platform provides world class technology to the rural customers at their doorsteps. Some of the key aspects of the TCS rural platform are: · Smart card based FI solution integrated with several leading banks in India · Hand held device(Micro ATM) at the village level with Online Biometric authentication, Voice Playback, GPRS connectivity, Thermal Printer, standard encryption and multilingual display. · Basic banking services – deposit, withdrawal, remittance and Government payments – NREGA, pension etc already being offered to rural customers, and several services like Micro- Insurance, Loans, Recharge, Bill payments, premium collections, etc in the pipeline. · Integrated with UID servers for authentication TC BC (Banking Correspondent) management sub unit manages the large network of CSPs who are available at the village round the clock and provides services to the customers at the doorstep. The CSPs are supported by State BC Managers and also regional co-ordinators.

Why was the project started :
As per Reserve Bank of India(RBI), only 5% of villages in the country have banking facility and less than 40% of the rural population have bank accounts. In order to improve financial inclusion – make banking services easily available to the un-banked population, RBI has allowed use of innovate technology/business models such as the Business correspondent model based on low cost Information and Communication Technology(ICT) systems which can be easily deployed in the villages. To ensure speedy and efficient implementation of this model by banks throughout the country in a time bound manner, RBI has allotted villages to Banks to provide a Customer Service Person(CSP) in every village with population>2000(close to 85,000 villages) by 2013. These CSPs are entitled to offer banking services to the respective villages.

Objective :
TCS provides FI end to end solutions to the bank to achieve their FI mandate as per RBI guidelines. Towards this it provides technology which includes Application, H/W, Infrastructure hosting, handheld device & also front ending with the BC companies who in turn appoint BC agents in the mandated villages for achieving the targets. Currently TCS provides this service to over 13 banks including all major PSU’s. The project was started on PoC and pilot basis with a few banks looking for a single point of ownership – both technology and BC management. Hence TCS leveraged it’s domain and technology expertise to meet the unique requirement of the banks and participate in the noble cause of Financial Inclusion. Objective is to provide a robust, low cost & flexible solution which brings together the participants of the eco-system in a mutually beneficial manner to meet the government mandate of Financial Inclusion
Target group : Rural population in all unbanked villages with population above 2000 in phase 1 (upto 2012) and below 2000 in phase 2 (post 2012)
Geographical reach : PAN India. Current deployed over 4000 agents in 20 states covering about 2 million rural population, mandate to cover 20 million population by 2012
Date from which the project became operational : 1 September 2010
Is the Project still operational : YES

10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

  1. FI brings banking services through to unbanked population using intelligent devices communicating on GPRS
  2. Highly cost effective approach using technology and BC model in comparison to the brick and mortar bank branch model
  3. Literacy is not a constraint as solution is biometric enabled and supports voice enabled prompts
  4. Solution provides rich bouquet of services such as bill payments, recharges, insurance, dairy payments, NREGA, EBT, informational services such as mkrishi, mwallet etc at doorstep of the villager
  5. It provides employment to a member of the community serving as a BC agent
  6. It brings together the eco-system of NGO’s, Banking, Technology & VAS service providers
  7. Multiple technology options – a Handheld device, mobile phone, web application for eGov CSC’s
  8. Technology is interoperable across banks for UIDAI enrolled customer
  9. Platform independent – open source technology
  10. Highly scalable and cost effective as deployed on cloud

List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?

  1. TCS offers this service to 13 banks which includes all leading PSU banks – SBI,PNB,BOB, BoI, Dena, Indian Bank, IOB, CBI etc
  2. TCS has already opened 2 mn bank FI accounts through it’s technology and BC partners
  3. It is the only technology solution which has successfully launched Aadhar enabled Payment (AEPS), this was done for BoI at Pagda village in Thane on July 1st
  4. Only FI solution which offers multiple delivery channels for servicing – kiosk, mobile & PoS
  5. The only vendor which is currently doing interoperable design with NPCI for both PoS and Kiosk interoperability across banks for non UIDAI customers

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative :

  1. As the account opening process through BC is different from branches, there was a need for regular follow up with Branches resulting in high travel costs & frustration of BC
  2. Unlike Bank extension counters BC has to take the cash risk which results in high costs of cash management and limitation in eliciting participation from third parties
  3. While BC does both service and sales currently there is no fixed remuneration to BC agents, and given the high lead time for transactions, there is significant churn of agents impacting building of trust and confidence in FI initiative
  4. Lack of convergence of FI and govt benefits mandate often results in multiple banks operating in the same village hence making FI initiative viability difficult.
  5. Financial awareness of the rural population is low, hence opening bank account may not be understood well. Now BC agent is being trained to impart awareness training

List the 5 points how can the prgramme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

  1. FI solution sets the standard for uniqueness of the architecture – which is highly modular & configurable for BC’s, services, channels & banks with multi-tenancy option.
  2. TCS approach of tie-up with rural entities such as dairies brings in sustainability to the model, and also helps in building trust and scalability.
  3. By offering a bouquet of services along with banking provides convenience to the masses beyond what the bank branches offer today leveraging the power of ICT with the human interface
  4. Only TCS FI offers choice of channel – POS, Mobile & kiosk. Infact only TCS kiosk solution has operational presence of over 5000 points
  5. The only solution which adheres to all regulatory guidelines – RBI, UIDAI, MoF from a regulatory and technology perspective and based on open standards & largely embraces open source technology. It is deployed on cloud, providing advantages of reduced cost, better security/performance and eliminates need for resources towards IT administration.

List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative :

  1. Given the modular architecture and multi-tenancy & multi channel approach it does not require multiple deployments and can also act as a gateway across the various service providers of a bank for internal and external interfaces.
  2. The management console of the solution enables BC company & Banks to configure & manage the day to day operations and does not require a third party co-ordination for the same
  3. Leveraging footprint of the co-operative and corporate entities working in the rural space enables speedy rollout of the services obviating the need to identify a BC agent in each of the mandated BC locations
  4. The deployment on cloud enables usage of the infrastructure on ‘pay as u go’ basis avoiding the need for upfront capex
  5. The solution can be deployed on the cloud infrastructure for any new bank within a week’s time!

 

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