PM Narendra Modi’s initiative, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, to make the unbanking mass, specially in rural areas to have a bank account and a debit card, was a grand success. The campaign’s paramount success also helped it find a place in the Guinness Book of Records for opening the highest number of bank accounts within the shortest time span. Around 17 million bank accounts were registered, among which 10 million were from the rural sector. But, this couldn’t make people savvy enough to handle banking transactions or use their debit cards.
Technology-oriented banking services are yet to reach the rural realm. Financial transactions, scheme and policies are still intricating for the rural mass. However, recently, some top Unified Communication players like PeopleLink has flared up the rural banking scenarios with video enabled banking solutions. These virtual collaborative solutions are designed to assist rural customers in acquiring information about the financial policies and protocols of the bank and guide them to hassle free transactions.
Video-enabled banking services can be easily handled through mobiles, laptops and desktops. Banks can collaborate with the village panchayats to provide the villagers a comprehensive knowledge about the handling and operations of the video banking services.
Rural Banking Challenges
Despite of relentless campaigns and initiatives, some areas in the rural sector are still unbanked. Some reasons behind this are discussed below.
Setting up a branch in an unfavorable demographic is more difficult than it is thought. Employees retention is also a big issue as most employees are not happy with rural postings.
Lack of training
The up-gradation process or professional training isn’t very frequent for rural banking employees, hence, they are not completely aware of the current financial trends, market scenario or policies and schemes of their banks.
Lack of co-ordination
Delayed communication due to demographic constraint often affects the coordinated performance and implementation of plans. Hence, protocols /policies/scheme take unexpected longer time to get implemented compared to the urban branches.
The lack of timely communication affects prompt decision making and hence rural branches often suffer from low profitability.
Benefits of virtual collaboration in rural banking
Easy and fast query elucidation
The rural commonalities often have loads of misconceptions and doubts regarding banking and financial services. Visiting banks, standing in long queues, obscure banking policies, confuses them even more. Hence, most of them are reluctant to register an account. Video enabled banking services can be instrumental in training rural consumers in digital banking. They can establish a virtual connection with the staff, through their mobiles. Laptops or desktops and get their queries resolved even without visiting the branch.The rural customers are no more tethered only to local banking staffs. The face-to-face