Nilekani, bankers meet to discuss financial inclusion

Written by fe Bureaus | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 1 2010, 03:47am hrs
Indian Banks Association (IBA) has organised a meeting between banks and telecom companies to discuss issues to leverage the unique identity (UID) project for the banks financial inclusion programme. Nandan Nilekani, chairman, Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), would also participate in the meeting.

In a bid to expedite the financial inclusion programme in the country, banks are relying on business correspondent (BC) model. First, they want to arrive at broad standards for micro ATM enabled BC model network and achieve the standardisation of the ATM specification. Banks want to leverage the mobile phone technology to fit into the BC model as mobile phones are fast becoming the ubiquitous phenomenon in the country.

The government has already formed an empowered group of ministers, headed by Prime Minister to move the project on a fast track. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the IBA are closely involved in achieving financial inclusion through UIDAI. Towards this IBA is working on combining the UID project with that of the financial inclusion project of the banks and through this process, both banks and UID will be mutually benefited.

For the UID project, the unique identification numbers can be allotted to the individuals with the help of the banks and in the process banks can open as many accounts as possible for the persons allotted the number. This process will eventually help banks achieve financial inclusion.

Meanwhile, IBA has set up a working group with members drawn from select banks to deliberate on issues for implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards on an ongoing basis and also to interact with RBI and other regulatory bodies.