M-Governance to facilitate financial inclusion

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Industry expressed the need to leverage mobility devices to accelerate banking services

NEW DELHI, INDIA: With sluggish pace in the e-Governance segment coupled with unavailability of last mile Internet access, the need to leverage mobile platforms to harness opportunities, has increased manifold.

At ‘Enabling India', a coference organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the industry expressed the need to leverage mobility devices to accelerate banking services.

DeitY joint secretary Rajendra Kumar believes that M-Governance has emerged as a new paradigm for delivering services in many sectors. "Mobile devices are becoming instruments of empowerment especially in rural areas and where Internet access is limited," he said. Kumar other challenges, Kumar feels that capacity building and awareness are critical.

"We have plan to introduce awareness content in schools and make children aware on how mobility devices could be leveraged to avail services," he informed. Mobility, Kumar said, is going to play a key role in bridging the digital divide. DeitY has brought more than 500 departments across states on its Mobile Sewa platform and created App Store that features 150 services.

Jaijit Bhattacharya, director for global government relations and sales MD at HP India feels that a bouquet of services could be provided on mobile platforms. "The challenge is how to services proactively," he said. Bhattacharya believes that information mining could facilitate proactive services to citizens. "Data mining is critical for government departments to reach out to micro communities," he said.

Uttam Nayak, country manager- India and South Asia, Visa said that micro standards are evolving and with new policy coming up, there is also a need to ensure that it would not impact existing devices. "Financial inclusion is not only alone responsibility of banker, but government and businesses should collaborate to allow a level-playing field," Nayak added.

Financial Inclusion head at Genpact Prakash Prabhu said that to take e-Governance forward, mobile devices should be leveraged in villages. "Increased transactions in rural areas will be healthy for companies and bankers," he added. Prabhu said that some states are employing mobile devices to bring transparency in MNREGA program.

As the government is mulling to leverage mobility devices to disseminate citizen multiple services that primarily include banking, it's estimated that transaction cost over mobile such platforms would be significantly low as it discourage manual intervention.

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