Mobile payment company PayMate's credit delivery solution for farmers Mobile Kisan Credit Card (mKCC), developed by PayMate in collaboration with NABARD, Pallavan Grama Bank and Indian Bank, has roped in 7,000 farmers so far.
The mKCC pilot project was launched by PayMate and the participating banks in October 2011 in the Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu. Villupuram has about 18,000 farmers and the company's target was to include 5,000 farmers for the pilot. As per an official release, the next target of this project would be to go national. With 159 merchants already in the system, the revenue from its launch till July has growth 280 per cent.
Ajay Adiseshann, founder and managing director, PayMate India said, "With 7,000 registered farmers, the NABARD target of 5,000 farmers has been achieved in a very short time â€“ giving enough evidence of the usefulness of the service in rural India. Such an overwhelming response shows that this scheme can be beneficial to farmers across India. Making it available nationally and to other cooperative banks is next in the pipeline. There's more that 5 crore farmers in India and mKCC can make a difference."
By using mKCC, farmers can use their money in smaller amounts for purchasing goods and directing their mKCC loans towards suitable agricultural requirements. This saves on transit time to banks, which can sometimes take up to a day and safeguards against the danger of carrying large sums for farm purchases over long distances. The farmers also receive instant reports of all transactions and available funds by means of SMS on their mobile phones.
After activation of the registered KCC with Pallavan Grama Bank, the farmers can avail the service for withdrawal or purchase. To withdraw, the customer approaches the Business Correspondent (BC), provides his mobile number and tells the withdrawal amount. An IVR call from PayMate then seeks the customer's 4-digit PIN number. The account is checked for available balance and cash dispatched in case of sufficient funds. To purchase seeds, fertilisers and other agricultural items, the farmer has to tell the shopkeeper about his requirements and confirm his mobile number.
G Rangarajan, chairman, Pallavan Grama Bank, said, " Following the success of mobile-enabled KCC, the mobile banking facility has been extended to all our customers along with value added services like Mobile Funds Transfer, Mobile Recharge and DTH Recharge. RBI has also approved our Mobile Banking Services."
PayMate is a wireless transactions platform provider with a mobile payment platform that allows users to link their mobile phone to a bank account, credit card or a prepaid account, turning it into a secure payment tool. The company has operations in US, UAE, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Africa and Eastern Europe and has tie-ups with over 30 banks including SBI, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Corporation Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). In May, PayMat announced the launch of its PayPOS solution that enables small businesses to accept and process electronic transactions (using credit and debit cards) directly on their mobile phones at the point of sale (POS) itself.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)