23rd April 2020: While banks, and the government are working to ensure that cash transfers to the poorest sections of the country, helping them access this money has been a huge concern during this pandemic lockdown. Here, companies like PayNearby and Sarvatra Technologies are offering doorstep delivery of cash and other financial services thus bringing high-end technology to the bottom of the pyramid in the truest sense. 

The government has pulled out various measures to ensure the rural poor in India get the financial support. For the same, the government is leveraging the direct benefit transfer (DBT) architecture. However with major banks having shut down most of their branches across the country, seamless banking in a cash-dominant country like India has been a huge concern. The situation is even more challenging in rural India which has already been ailing with severe dearth of banking infrastructure such as – ATMs, POS machines among others. Only 5% of rural India which is 30k of the 6.5 lakh villages have access to ATMs, besides the population is also less digitally savvy regarding online payments.

Offering its affordable Platform as a Service (PaaS) model Sarvatra Technologies has helped cooperative banks to provide services in the lockdown without a hitch. Being responsible for various payments platforms for 600+ banks—right from the smallest co-operative banks to SCBs and DCCBs spread across 27 states of India, Sarvatra has facilitated healthy cash flow and services in the rural India. It has also deployed Micro ATM platform to over 700 urban credit societies and to hundreds of general stores and medical stores, providing uninterrupted service to this critical sector as well. So far, Sarvatra has helped deploy over 10,000 Micro ATMs across the country. This smooth transition and scaling up of payments platforms has proved to be critical in the current scenario of social distancing.  Sarvatra’s wide range of offerings has also enabled other financial institutions such as business correspondents to successfully deploy money transfer and cash disbursal services where ATMs and regular banking infrastructure are not available or are inaccessible. Its plug and play access to top payment platforms like Debit Cards, UPI, IMPS, AePS, Micro ATM, POS, etc, has significantly aided in alleviating the hardships of the underbanked population in the country.

PayNearby yet another player, has been an integral player in facilitating digital transactions to the rural population. During these challenging times too, PayNearby’s platform and their Digital Pradhan retailers have been summoned to serve people at the last mile. PayNearby, through its 8 lakh network of banking correspondents has been seamlessly facilitating cash withdrawal and transfer in this period – conducting over 8.5 lakh transactions per day.  Customers can come at the PayNearby outlets and with simply using their thumb can withdraw upto Rs. 10,000 daily which is a blessing in rural areas where there is a lack of adequate financial infrastructure. It’s the uninterrupted services of these players which has made cash available in rural areas reaching the last mile during crises.

Sarvatra Technologies has witnessed a 100% growth in both volumes and value of its AePS transactions since the lockdown. This spike in the transactions is mainly because of the reach players like Sarvartra and PayNearby offers even in the interiors of the country —

1.      Sarvatra Technologies through co-operative banks offering micro ATM services

2.      PayNearby enabling on-ground cash disbursal through its BC network

Without players like them being on ground to disburse cash, a large chunk of this cash would otherwise lie dormant in the accounts of the people.

In the current lockdown scenario, players like Sarvatra Technologies and PayNearby are dedicatedly fulfilling their national duty by giving millions access to government beneficiary aid worth 1.7 lakh crore credited in their bank accounts besides other services.