Bridging rural, urban areas: ICICI bank to create 500 digital villages by December 2017

ICICI Group dedicated 100 ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ at an event in New Delhi on Monday. The bank plans to expand the number of such villages by another 500 by December 2017 and train an additional 50,000 individuals and impact 12.5 lakh lives.

The inauguration of the digital villages follows the bank’s commitment given in November 2016 to transform 100 villages into ‘ICICI Digital Villages’.

The programme involves end-to-end digitisation of transactions and other commercial activities, providing vocational training to villagers, extending credit facility and helping the villagers to access markets and earn a sustainable livelihood.

 Bridging rural, urban areas: ICICI bank to create 500 digital villages by December 2017

Chanda Kochhar, CEO & MD, ICICI Bank with Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister

According to ICICI, these villages are spread across 17 states in the country without any pattern or correlation.

The bank will allow the facility of e-KYC verification which can be done using the Aadhar card to open new bank accounts without the need for physical documents, simplifying the main difficulty for most users who don’t have a bank account as of now.

The bank has provided an SMS-based mobile service which facilitates the villagers to transfer funds, receive SMS alerts and mini-statements and know their account balance. It is available in 10 regional languages and functions on basic feature phones as well.

Villagers can also deposit and withdraw cash at their doorstep. The digitisation at the village dairy co-operative units will enable the societies to pay the members digitally and directly into their bank accounts.

“We have created a less cash ecosystem at these villages, provided vocational training to over 11,300 villagers, including more than 7,500 women and offered them credit linkages. We have done all of these in the past 100 days,” said Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank. She said the bank wanted to show through this initiative that technology and skilling can be used to eliminate barriers that separate rural and urban India.

Updated Date: May 02, 2017 22:17:30 IST