Empowering a micro-finance institution’s agent banking function with mobile-based agent banking solution
Asomi is a leading micro-finance institution (MFI) that operates in the state of Assam, India. Asomi, an NGO, has been instrumental in mobilizing financial inclusion in the state. The organization has over 53 branches and works with a network of more than 200 banking agents across Assam.
Asomi’s customers are Self Help Groups (SHG) that are formed in the villages of Assam. The SHGs and its members are considered as customers of Asomi and are collectively liable to Asomi. Asomi relies on its agents to reach out to these customers in the rural areas and mobilize funds for its micro-finance function. Each agent works in co-ordination with a particular branch and pays regular field visits to nearby villages. They are assigned with field visits and an agenda on a daily basis. Their agenda consists of various tasks that facilitate customer acquisition, loan disbursement, loan amortisation and deposit mobilisation for Asomi. The agents carry application forms, loan disbursement & repayment documents, receipts and various other documents that help` them make the required transactions. They visit the members of the SHGs and manually perform the documentation tasks. Once the agents return from their field visits, they come to their respective branches where manual data entry happens.
Though this process was well defined, there were many efficiency issues that dragged the performance of the agent banking system that Asomi followed. The daily assignment of field visits to each agent required great amount of co-ordination. Each agent had to spend tremendous amount of time in the villages to collect data, disburse money and issue manual receipts. The process of managing the agent network and the manual data entry started becoming tedious. Moreover, since all transactions are made in cash and managed manually, Asomi stood at a high risk of fraud and manipulation. Asomi wanted to eliminate the risk of fraud, automate its agent banking functionality and enhance the efficiency of its micro finance function.
Egalite for Asomi
Asomi approached BFSI with the specific need to scale their agent banking function. Analysing Asomi’s requirement, we at BFSI offered our powerful yet simple mobile-based enabler of agent banking, Egalite for Asomi. We did a detailed study of Asomi’s current operations and its future needs and devised a customised and seamless mechanism to empower Asomi’s agent banking function.
|Challenges and requirements||Solution using Egalite|
|To eliminate dependency on paper work involved in agency banking||
|To control agent performance and reduce the risk of fraud||Through Egalite, Asomi can now easily assign field visits to each agent and have complete knowledge on the number of customer visits and transactions made. Since all transactions are made on the Egalite’s mobile app, the chance of fraud tends to zero.|
|To enhance customer satisfaction levels and build confidence||Egalite enhanced customer satisfaction levels through SMS integration for each transaction. Once a transaction is completed, customers get immediate acknowledgment through SMS. Also Egalite is able to connect to a printing device that generates receipts and acknowledgements real time. Customers are now able to trust agent interactions are confident that their transactions are secure.|
|To reduce the human resource overheads at the bank’s branches||Prior to Egalite, Asomi’s branch personnel had to collate and update the data collected on paper by the agents. This consumed the time of the bank officers as well as the agents. Egalite entirely eliminated the need for this activity. Since all data gets fed into the application on a real-time basis, all that it needs is an upload into the core banking system. Once the application gets access to internet through a data connection, all data gets instantly updated to the core banking system.|
Egalite – Value additions:
Going beyond what the customer asked for, Egalite provided value additions that delighted our customer:
- The estimated average speed capability of each agent to process one agenda using Egalite is just 60 seconds. This was otherwise taking minutes as it was a manual process
- Egalite for Asomi has been built to handle an account growth of over three times its current volume. We decided to provide this bandwidth with due consideration to the existing volume of transaction as well as the projected future volume.
Egalite has brought a remarkable transformation in the way Asomi managed its agent banking function. Today the transactions are vivid and transparent, the customer connect is real-time and vibrant, and the risk of fraud is minimal. Thanks to the technology, Egalite has established a renewed trust in the relationship between Asomi, its customers and its agents. The organization is now able to reach more customers and its entire agent banking function has got a happy makeover.
From operational efficiency to fraud insulation to complete automation – Egalite has implemented a seamless mechanism that contributes to Asomi’s larger institutional goals. Our satisfaction comes with the fact that we have been able to contribute to the micro-finance movement in India.