My friend Vishnu, who heads a ‘housing for all’ project worldwide, said the other day that the biggest impediment in disbursing a home loan is people not having a bank account to start with. Came to realize how important it is for every citizen to have a bank account. Home loan companies also can service the clients much easily.
And when the Prime Minister during his Independence day address spoke of the mobile phones and bank accounts in one sentence, I knew that a paradigm shift was in the making. This would call for some drastic changes in the way banking is done.
Infact a few days earlier over a twitter chat with one of my friend Raem Saeed, an expert on mobile, we discussed on how African nations have changed the banking into a convenience over a feature phone.
The regulations in the Indian banking system still doesnt allow practically to fully make airtel money or m-pesa work. As per prevailing regulations the mobile operator will have to end up become a banker with a bankers license. That would be really a great way to unlock the potential of mobile in banking and imagine sending money over mobile at a click of a button.
As we speak, in America, in the last few days square, a startup in payments has made the cash transfers so very easy with an app and it works even when the receiver doesnt have an app. And they are giving $1 to try that! How cool can that be!
Getting back to India, the mobile cash transfers will be a big dream come true for majority of the citizens especially in villages. This also will be an ideal transfer tool for all the govt schemes which has always been pilfered using unknown entities and other means. This to a great extent has the possibility of reducing govt expenses and also will ensure it reaches the right person.
Now that the large population will have a bank account, rest of the things should fall in place. This should also open up opportunities for them to seek new pastures and seek credit from the govt agencies. This will have a great effect socially. Women if they have a bank account their innate nature of savings will reflect in the banking system for sure.
All in all, this one initiative of the central govt will change the status quo like no other. The best part is that the state govts also see an opportunity to earn the goodwill of the people through the scheme. The next independence day could reveal the success for sure.
A small step. But sure and firm ones have definitely made man walk with confidence.
One post a day 8/30