Apps using AI, AR to ease financial services adoption barriers for women

|March 23, 2018 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: To overcome the barriers to financial services adoption among women and other low-income populations in India, Accenture and Grameen Foundation India have collaborated to develop two new applications.

“Access to financial services gives women greater control over their lives, enabling them to start small businesses, invest in their local communities, and better cope with crises. But barriers -ranging from illiteracy to a lack of bank branches in rural areas, coupled with a lack of confidence and access to information – hinder adoption for millions of low-income women in India,” said Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India.

Accenture Labs in Bangalore began working with Grameen Foundation India last year as part of its corporate citizenship focus.

Leveraging its expertise in emerging technologies – including artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), speech recognition and computer vision – coupled with Grameen Foundation’s expertise in human-centric design and e-learning to solve the problems of poverty, two applications were developed.

Emotional Analytics for Social Enterprises (EASE)

An AI-based web and mobile app that helps microfinance advisors gain real-time insights on the emotional and cognitive status of their clients, based on video and audio inputs. The Emotion Analytics tool provides deeper insights on precisely what topics or keywords attract attention, or cause clients to disengage. For instance, the tool could help detect whether a woman applying for a loan is being pressured to do so by someone else – making it an unnecessary burden, or whether she would find it to be of genuine use.

Grameen Guru

A smartphone-based multi-lingual chatbot that leverages AR technology to help clients who can’t read understand written materials. Using the app, a user can hold their phone over a brochure that details available financing options, for example, and the Guru virtual assistant will pop up and prompt a conversation in the local language to explain the material. The intuitive interface and simplicity of use makes it accessible to people with a wide range of abilities and can result in better engagement.

Grameen Foundation India plans to roll out the applications across 300 villages in the states of Maharashtra and Odisha.

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