Icici Bank creates digital village

Icici Bank creates digital village

Icici Bank has set about turning a rural Indian community into a "digital village", using technology to bring banking, education and health services to locals.

Akodara in the Sabarkantha district of Gujarat is being transformed to mark Icici's 60th birthday and provide an example of how technology can be used to transform the lives of India's rural poor, says the bank.

All of Akodara's adults now have savings accounts thanks to what Icici calls 'tab banking', which enables customers to sign up without handing over physical documentation. The villagers can view statements, receive alerts, and send and receive remittances and fund transfers through their mobile phones.

In addition, efforts are being made to make the local economy cashless. Icici has built an end-to-end payment system using Rupay cards and SMS banking for village shops, the market and the cooperative society.

Meanwhile, WiFi has been rolled out across the village, which now as its own website and a water treatment plant. Technology is also being used to digitise school records, bring students paperless textbooks, and provide access to remote medical expertise via video-conferencing.

Chanda Kochhar, CEO, Icici Bank, says: "Our objective has been to show that technology can be used to eliminate barriers that separate rural and urban India. We hope that it will catalyse similar initiatives across the country and recreate rural India."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 January, 2015, 09:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Fantastic exposition of how technology can transform lives. Let's hope it stimulates investment elsewhere and becomes the prototype for great change - and let's also hope that technology is not being introduced at the expense of the planet when solar energy can easily be deployed to power these innovations.