Spice Money has extended ATM services to Chitkul, India’s last inhabited village in Himachal Pradesh for the first time. The village had no ATM facility till now. Spice Money has now introduced Spice Money Mini-ATM services. The company in a statement today said it has converted one of the only two Kirana Stores in the village into a Spice Money ‘Digital Dukaan’ to offer cash-in cash-out services to the residents and tourists.
Tucked away from the hustle-bustle of cities in the Kinnaur-Kailash region of Himachal Pradesh, the picturesque village of Chitkul has a population of about 900 people along with 20-25 holiday resorts catering to international and Indian tourists. With the closest ATM being 25 km away in Sangla and the non-availability of e-banking due to poor internet connectivity, the village had historically been facing the challenge of accessing cash or payment services.
Spice Money has empowered the kirana store owner to become a Spice Money Adhikari and open his Digital Dukaan with zero cost. This Digital Dukaan now acts as an ATM centre providing basic cash withdrawal and deposit services. The Spice Money Mini ATM accepts debit and credit cards from all major banks.
“Rural India continues to be a cash-driven economy but grapples with cash shortage, mostly due to lack of ATM and banking infrastructure. At Spice Money, our mission is to empower the smallest towns and villages in the remotest corner of India and bring ATM services to their doorstep. The mini ATM service in Chitkul is a step towards bettering the ATM infra in the country and thus moving towards our objective of creating the largest ATM network in India. Locals and tourists traveling to Chitkul have always been struggling with access to cash. We are confident that these issues will now cease to exist, with the first Digital Dukaan from Spice Money,” said Sanjeev Kumar, CEO of Spice Money.
Spice Money said it is planning to expand the Spice Money Adhikari network in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh by onboarding more distributors to offer mini-ATM services, payment and tours and travel services to the community.
At present, over 5,00,000 Adhikaris (merchants/entrepreneurs) are a part of the Spice Money network and nearly 90% of them are present in semi urban and rural India. Spice Money is covering 18,000+ pin codes, 700+ districts and 5000+ blocks in India.