Mumbai : India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, PayNearby, announced that it will onboard women Business Correspondents (BC-Sakhis) from Self Help Groups (SHG) in 8 districts to offer banking services to various Gram Panchayats in Rajasthan. PayNearby, a corporate BC of YES Bank, will partner with Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad (RAJEEVIKA) to empower SHG members and onboard them to function as Business Correspondents (BCs) and Customer Service Provider (CSPs). PayNearby and Rajeevika’s partnership aims to create livelihood opportunities for 10,000 women BCs in Rajasthan by the end of FY24. The company thus aims to build a sustainable network to improve the availability and accessibility of financial services across the state. It also aims to digitise transactions worth approx. INR 10,000 crores through the SHG ecosystem while enabling BC-Sakhis to earn additional revenue.
This move is in tune with the Government’s One Gram Panchayat, One BC-Sakhi mission with the vision to deploy at least one BC-Sakhi in the rural areas by the end of 2023-24. The BC model ensures low-cost delivery of accessible banking services to every section of the society. BC-Sakhis are playing an instrumental role in financial inclusion as they have ensured that uninterrupted banking services are available to citizens, particularly women, across the country. Owing to its extensive reach and influence at the community level, the SHG platform has proven to be pivotal in this task.
PayNearby is one among the selected partners who has been allotted the mandate of 8 districts across Rajasthan, viz. Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Sri Ganganagar, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Pali. Post onboarding, the company will work on upskilling the BC Sakhis and teach them how to offer financial and digital services to their communities so as to enable last mile reach and also provide them with the tools to augment the family’s income.
Speaking on the development, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “Women in low-income cohorts generally manage their money through informal loans and savings. Hence, it is important that they have access to digital and financial tools that give them better control over their earnings and savings. For India to progress, we must empower our women to lead this change. Rajeevika is an excellent initiative by the Government of Rajasthan and PayNearby is extremely honored to be a facilitator of this program and drive empowerment. It will also further our commitment towards our Sashakt Naari, Sashakt Samaaj, Sashakt Desh mission. Through this, women will learn about cash management, savings, banking, insurance and other financial services that will, in turn, bridge the gender gap at the last mile. As aware banking sakhis, these women will play a crucial role in making India an inclusive nation and help bridge the urban-rural divide.”
“Rural Rajasthan has a robust SHG ecosystem. It is crucial that citizens in rural areas have bank accounts, save regularly, and adopt other financial products and services for their financial empowerment and resilience. Our association with Rajeevika will ensure this. We are positive that the partnership will encourage the uptake of formal financial services among the last mile. We wish to strengthen the capacities of BC-Sakhis, help them increase their incomes, and help build a cash-light SHG ecosystem in rural Rajasthan and gradually make India an inclusive and stronger nation”, said Alok Jha, Head – Strategic Initiatives, PayNearby.
While commenting on the partnership, Dr. Hardeep Singh Chopra, Project Director, Rajeevika, said, “It is our goal to bring these women up the financial inclusion curve, who, in turn, could financially empower thousands of families in rural Rajasthan. Our association with PayNearby will add immense value as these BC Sakhis will play a significant part in handholding and acquainting the masses to financial and digital transactions while driving financial inclusion across the remotest villages and towns in the state.”