How a fintech startup is committed to promote digital doorstep banking in rural India

Fintech startup Ezeepay is focused on pushing financial inclusion and promote digital transactions in rural and semi-urban areas. Ezeepay's Doorstep Digital Services launched across the country, has been a success. Shams Tabrej, Founder & CEO, Ezeepay, shares that with a network of 1.78 lakh agents and distributors in the North India market, the company is now looking at expansion in South India

What inspired you to start digital doorstep banking for rural and remote areas?

Shams Tabrej, Founder & CEO, Ezeepay

Ezeepay DDS (Doorstep Digital Services) will bring the bank to the doorstep of people living in villages. I noticed that as there are only one gramin bank at village level, people from the villages had to spend their entire day at the bank just for a money withdrawal or 5 minutes banking work. The people in villages work on the basis of daily wages, so spending one entire day at the bank means losing their one day salary. This is how Ezeepay came into existence.

Ezeepay started with comprehensive payment solutions for businesses that offer mobile recharge, DTH recharge, bill payments, cash withdrawal, and AEPS. The Ezeepay partners offer all these services.  A service agent visit the address or doorstep of customers to ensure that they get all the help they need to use banking services. For example, they provide iris detection and thumb enabled services to withdraw money from Micro ATMs. These services are free of cost to EzeePay customers.

What are the challenges being faced by you to operate in these regions and how are you resolving the same?
Major challenge which we faced at the initial phase was the trust factor. It was difficult for villagers to trust the digital work because of the fraud cases which have come to their knowledge. The trust issue was very well resolved from our end and today we are fully trusted by our customers and dealer network. Low literacy rate is also one of the challenges which we faced in the initial days which we have overcomes today as our business model employees people from among our target consumers only. It not only creates the job opportunity for them as well but also helps establishes a personal connection which further strengths the trust on us.

Are you focusing on any particular geographical region / state? Also, what kind of support are you looking for from the local / state governments?
We started with north India where we have witnessed huge success. We currently have a network of 1.78 lakh agents and distributors in the north market. Their total business in the north, across all services, is about INR 800 crore. Seeing the response in the north market we have decided to expand our services in the south market. There is a lot of scope in Tier 2 cities of the southern market. They aim to garner a monthly business of INR 500-600 crore in the southern market. We have been given a lot of support by the state governments where we are present. Digital India plan is what we want to take forward and are working on the same lines.

Which technologies are being used to deliver digital doorstep banking, and your focus on tech innovation?
We take care of our safety and privacy of customer’s is our top priority. We use audited servers and softwares. Both the server and the applications are certified from the respective certification authorities. We are executing our platform on secure platform which is our https. We do not store any kind of data, we just process the transaction and transfer the data to the bank. Once the transaction is complete the data is auto deleted. To deliver DDS services we are using
• Adhar enables payment system
• We have our certified servers and applications
• We use fingerprint or retina scan for verification of account details

What kind of tech revolution do you foresee in rural banking, in times to come?
With growing demands of banking sector in India and everything going digital, people in rural India are also adopting this new phase. Rural India will witness a huge demand of Micro ATMs as people of rural India are slowly and steadily understanding the concept and adopting it as well.

Your future plans in terms of new tech platforms / products and strategic expansion.
There is a huge demand for Micro ATMs in rural India and we plan to deploy 2.5 lakh units in the next three years in tier I, tier II, and tier II and also focusing on the expansion in the south market along with strengthening our existing presence in the north.

EzeepayfintechRural BankingStartup
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