ICICI Bank aims to push KCC loans by using satellite data

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August 26, 2020 12:45 AM

Anup Bagchi, executive director (ED), ICICI Bank, said, “With encouraging response to our pilot project in over 500 villages, we will shortly cover over 63,000 villages in the country for lending with this technology.”

This will help farmers with existing credit to enhance their eligibility, while new-to-credit farmers can now get better access to credit, the bank said.This will help farmers with existing credit to enhance their eligibility, while new-to-credit farmers can now get better access to credit, the bank said.

With an aim to push kisan credit card (KCC) loans, ICICI Bank on Tuesday announced the usage of satellite data —imagery from the Earth observation satellites — to assess creditworthiness of its customers in the farm sector. This technology will help farmers, who are existing customers of the bank as well as non-customers, to avail KCC loans, as per lender. As on June, 2020 the rural loan book of the bank stood at Rs 57,177 crore and KCC account for one third of the total portfolio. Although, the bank did not provide specific target for credit growth with the use of technology, it plans to scale up its usage.

Anup Bagchi, executive director (ED), ICICI Bank, said, “With encouraging response to our pilot project in over 500 villages, we will shortly cover over 63,000 villages in the country for lending with this technology.”

Since the land verification is done in a contactless manner with the help of satellite data, credit assessments can be done within a few days as against the industry practice of up to 15 days, he further said. This will help farmers with existing credit to enhance their eligibility, while new-to-credit farmers can now get better access to credit, the bank said.

This initiative gains significance at a time when people are advised to stay indoors and avoid travel in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This use of satellite data provides quick and technically sound analysis of the land, crop and irrigation patterns from remote locations, without the need of the customer or a bank official having to visit the land. It offers farmers the significant advantage of reliable data being provided to the bank without any hassles of travel, operational or logistical expenditure to them.

The bank claims to be is the first in India and among few globally to use satellite data to measure an array of parameters related to the land, irrigation and crop patterns.

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