It is 12:00 in the noon and Prashant Mohanty has just wired a sum of Rs 20,000 to his father in Odisha from his workstation in Mumbai. The senior Mohanty, a septuagenarian, will withdraw some of that money later in the afternoon.
But things weren’t so comfortable for Prashant’s aged parents a year ago in the remote village of Bala Bhadrapur in Kendrapara. His father would travel to the nearby town once a month, usually on the 10th, and withdraw the entire sum at one go for the month’s expenses, before making the return journey. Now, he often withdraws his money while on his evening walk to the micro ATM adjacent to the village grocery shop some 200 meters further from his home.
The micro ATM is part of the digital banking platform provided by iServeU which has become a breather for Mohanty and others in similar far-flung villages across India.
The digital banking ecosystem includes among others, Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS), Aadhaar ATM, Aadhaar Payment, mATM, money transfer to provide banking solutions to people in the remotest places of India.
AePS and micro ATMs have now made it possible for the government to include people hitherto with negligible access to banking within the ambit of financial inclusion. Even government benefits through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana are now accessible through micro ATMs and AePS.
But AePS provides umpteen benefits for Ratan Das, the neighborhood grocer, too! He runs an AePS outlet at his store, provided by iServeU, and provides micro banking services, such as cash withdrawal, cash deposit, among others, to his regular customers for which he earns a decent commission.
Now, the AePS platform will incorporate several new features, including a mini statement facility to the customers for which retailers can earn good commissions. Ratan Das is happy that now his commissions will increase manifold as a lot of customers ask for mini statements, which he was unable to provide till now. The mini statement will list the last 10 transactions along with the available balance in the AePS, similar to the statement slip one gets at a regular bank ATM which lists the transactions – including the account balance – with the bank branch or the ATM kiosk.
The AePS is also set to become mobile-friendly through an Android App. New features to be included are cashout (move to the bank) and Micro ATM. Now, Parashnath Pradhan, who also runs an AePS outlet at the far end of the village, will find it relatively easy to transfer his money from the iServeU wallet to his personal bank account through the Android App at the end of the day. Previously this could be done only through the website.
Last but not the least, APeS, including the cashout facility, is all set to become a 24×7 service, even on holidays, much like banking, which has achieved that standard thanks to the online, mobile and ATM services that have now become an intrinsic feature of the regular banking services.