Friday, May 7

Andhra Bank to deploy over 1,600 business correspondents to boost financial inclusion programme

NEW DELHI: State-owned Andhra Bank will deploy over 1,600 business correspondents to provide a host of services like account opening, door-step banking, ATM deployment and NPA recovery under its financial inclusion project.

The bank will deploy these business correspondents mainly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The lender has been implementing the financial inclusion project since 2010 through the business correspondent model with micro ATMs/kiosk banking technology.

Among others, the business correspondents (BCs) may also be assigned with other financial and non-financial transactions like recovery of loans, enrolment of social security schemes as well as mobilisation of new business for the bank.

They may also be required to carry on with all government schemes including Aadhaar, mobile and PAN seeding, insurance sales, banking transactions and any new initiatives taken up by the bank from time to time.

The bank has invited bids from corporate business correspondents (CBCs) or vendors, who will oversee the deployment of business correspondents, by January 31, 2019.

“Andhra Bank invites proposals for selection of corporate business correspondents (CBCs) for end-to-end implementation of financial inclusion project,” it said in the request for proposal.

As of now, the bank has deployed about 2,200 BC agents through corporate business correspondent (CBC) model across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and some locations of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.

“The selected vendor will deploy all the banking applications on the micro ATMs/ mobile devices/kiosk without any extra cost to the bank,” it said.

As per the project, the bank wants to deploy 922 BC agents in Andhra Pradesh and 695 in Telangana by March 2019 apart from some mobile business correspondent agents who are expected to operate from different locations in other states.

Andhra Bank said it will give priority to the authorised functionaries of well-run self-help groups (SHGs) which are linked to banks to act as BC agents.

Besides, any individual or entities approved by the bank, individuals including retired bank employees, retired government school teachers, kirana shop owners, dealers working in public distribution system, retired government employees and ex-servicemen may also be deployed.

As per the proposal document, the business correspondent agent’s age should be preferably between 20 to 40 years, and should not exceed 50 years, the bank added.

At present, Andhra Bank uses separate Financial Inclusion Gateway (FIG) solution procured from a third-party vendor for all financial inclusion transactions.

The lender said it also proposes to deploy 200-1,000 direct business correspondents over five years.

The bank will procure the devices and the selected bidder to provide application software for deployed devices and also facilitate end-to-end operations by acquiring the transactions, it said.

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