A result of Grameen Foundation’s inclusion in Citi Foundation’s India Innovation Grant Program for ‘Scaling digital financial services and financial education’
~ Deploys 150 Oxigen Micro ATM’s in Uttar Pradesh
~ Targets to help over 2,00,000 women clients of Sonata
Lucknow 12th May 2017. With local partners — Oxigen Services and Sonata, Grameen Foundation in partnership with Citi Foundation, is scaling its digital financial services and financial education initiative. The objective is to deliver integrated digital banking services and education to Sonata’s female borrowers. The ‘Scaling Digital Financial Services & Financial Education’ program set out to increase mobile financial capability among women from low income communities, and is a result of the Citi Foundation – India Innovation Grant Program. The program has so far reached out to over 27,000 women from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Oxigen Services, India’s largest payment solutions provider has entered into this agreement with Sonata Finance, a mid-large MFI with assets under management of over Rs. 1000 crto provide Micro-ATM based services to its rural clients across 150 branches spread across Uttar Pradesh. The move is expected to serve over 2 lacs of Sonata’s women clients access to Digital Financial Services at its branches. The clients, most of them from the more economically underprivileged backgroundsand trained through Citi Foundation’s India Innovation Grant Program, would be able to now make Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) based repayments at the Sonata branches and also withdraw their loan amounts that are now disbursed directly to their bank accounts. They would also be able to access vast bouquet of digital financial services available through the RBI’s business correspondent model. This would further ease the dependence of cash transactions at the Sonata branches. Success of this project has opened up opportunity for large scale replication that can facilitate onboarding of millions of microfinance customers on the digital payment platforms. In the next 3 months an additional 180 branches of Sonata will be digitized by placing the MicroATM’s
Grameen Foundation uses front-line workers and trains them to handhold women through this process to ensure that their questions are answered and fears allayed. Grameen Foundation and Citi Foundation are firm in scaling-up digital financial literacy, through a combination of classroom training and technology enabled learning in rural India.
In partnership with Citi Foundation, Grameen Foundation has worked closely with Sonata and Oxigen in undertaking a Pilot Study on digital repayments by rural MFI clients and the project was a huge success. The project has gained large recognition in the form of several national and international awards such as the 2016 Mondato award, the 2016 Nasscom Social Innovation award and was also a finalist at the Wall Street Journal financial inclusion awards for 2016.
Grameen Foundation has also developed an E-learning application- G-LEAP for scaling up the Operational Leaning and Digital Literacy for Sonata branch executives and clients for a wider reach and help in uptake across clients.
Speaking on the development, Mr. Rajpal Duggal, Group President Corporate Strategy &Special Initiatives, Oxigen Services said, “This partnership between Oxigen and Sonata is a watershed in developing cashless solutions for the MicroFinance Industry. Cash management for repayment as well as disbursements has always been a challenge in this industry. With the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System this problem has been addressed using Oxigen’sMicroATM. It is now possible to make repayment installment directly from one’s account to Sonata’s bank account without the customer having to go to the bank branch. Likewise, this facilitates Sonata disbursing a new loan into the customer’s bank account and doing a cash out at the MicroATM location. It is a great customer convenience as it eliminates the customer going to a Bank branch which is usually 15-25 km away. In implementing this Oxigen has demonstrated the concept of ‘branchless banking‘at the last mile. Oxigen’s Micro ATM is a state of the art product which was developed in a time frame of 2 years R & D and is a pioneering and innovative solution that provides payment solutions through AEPS, card based payment and Mobile wallet. Our association with Sonata aims to ensure that in next 6 months their entire cash handling is totally eliminated bringing improvement in productivity and convenience to its borrowers. I also acknowledge the unstinted support from Grameen foundation who have helped immensely in ensuring the success of this project.”
Commenting on the association, Anup Kumar Singh, Managing Director, Sonata Finance said, “Convenience is at the core of Sonata’s business strategy. Sonata defines convenience as delivery of financial services to its customer at close to their location in timely, efficiently, and transparent manner. To do this Sonata has been keeping up with evolving technology. Sonata had already digitised its front end and back end business process and keep updated with evolving technology. Recently it has successfully digitised its loan disbursement and repayments transactions with its customers.
Sonata has partnership with OXIGEN, a Fin Tech company, who has provided micro ATM enabled with AEPS (Aadhar enabled payment system), Rupay card and VISA card payment options. The micro ATMs has enabled Sonata’s customers to withdraw the money from their savings bank accounts maintained at any of the bank on as and when needed basis with greater comfort and ease.
Grameen Foundation played pivotal role in digitising the repayments and withdrawal services, I deeply acknowledge and appreciate the role of its team and thankful to everyone in the team.”
Debasis Ghosh, Public Affairs Officer, Citi India said, “We believe it is important that weaker sections have easier access to their money since this is a huge enabler of progress. The Micro ATM’s go a long way to support the Government’s mission to create a larger financially empowered ecosystem in rural India. The Citi Foundation’s partnership with Grameen Foundation through the India Innovation Grant Program takes the next step in financial inclusion and by bridging the divide in financial education and digital banking.while also ensuring financial empowerment of women from low income households in the long run”.
About Oxigen Services
Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd., powered by 14 years of service excellence in the digital business of micro payments of services and remittances in a ‘real time’ environment is India’s Largest Payments Solutions Provider. Its business involves service aggregation and distribution, utilizing mobile, PoS and web for online payment processing and money transfer services. It is built to service the nation’s Telecom/DTH Operators, multiple Services Providers and Banks, pan India.
Oxigen has a retail footprint of 2,00,000 outlets and has processed over 4 billion transactions till date with a current transaction volume rate of 600 million transactions per annum. It has a large customer base of over 150 million. A large bouquet of services is integrated into a single transaction & payment processing platform, including Prepaid, Postpaid& Subscription based services like Mobile Money Transfer, Recharges, Bill Payments, Ticketing and Subscriptions for all leading service providers across a wide spectrum of industries, like, Telecom, Direct‐to‐home TV, Internet Broadband, Travel (Railways/Airlines/Bus), Cinema/Movie Tickets, Utility Bill Payments, Gaming, Music & Movie downloads & more.
Oxigen Wallet is India’s first Non-Bank Mobile Wallet app, approved by RBI, which allows you to send and receive money through popular social channels like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, SMS and Email. A customer can instantly send money to any mobile number or bank account in India, even if the recipient is not a registered Oxigen Wallet user.
In 2016, Oxigen Services introduced its Micro ATM. OxigenMicroATM provides Aadhaar Biometric based transactions for financial services such as Cash-in/ Cash-out, Instant bank account opening, Balance Enquiry, Funds Transfer to another Aadhaar linked Bank account, PAN card, EKYC service, Pension Payments.
Oxigen services include money transfer/ Mobile/DTH/Data Recharges, Postpaid, Utility bill payments and Gift Cards for over 60+ brands. Customers also earn loyalty points that can be redeemed as cash into the wallet or as PayBack points.
Oxigen Wallet, with 30 Million users, is a product of Oxigen Services Pvt. Ltd, India’s largest payment service provider. Accepted at over 9000 merchant locations and 10000 online sites like Bookmyshow, ebay, PVR, OYO Rooms, Jabong, and more, Oxigen Wallet offers a safe, secure and convenient payment solution via the mobile.
Loading money into Oxigen wallet app is easy; you can use credit cards, debit cards or pay cash over the counter through any of Oxigen’s 2,00,000 retailer / partners across the country.
App available on Android Play store, iOS App Store and Windows Store or visit www.oxigen.com
About Sonata Finance:
SONATA Finance Pvt. Ltd. (“SONATA” or “the Company”) the leading micro-finance institutions in Northern India, registered as (Non Deposit taking) Non-Banking Finance Company with Reserve Bank Of India under Section 45I A, having its Corporate & Registered Office at Lucknow.
SONATA was promoted by Anup Kumar Singh, one of the pioneers in Microfinance sectors having more than 18 years of experience to his credit, with a vision to fill the gap for unbanked and unserved section of society with no access to formal credit and financial services. In 2006, the first Sonata branch was opened in Allahabad district in Eastern UP (first NBFC-MFI to start operations in that region) with not more than 1200 micro borrower and a small portfolio of ₹ 0.32 Crore. Under the supervision and monitoring of Mr. Anup Kumar Singh today, Sonata encompasses 363 branches in 8 states, over 6.8 Lacs active loan clients and Asset Under Management of more than ₹ 1000 Crore. It target to cater to 1 million household by 2018.
In the last 10 years, SONATA has emerged as one of the most profitable MFIs in its peer group across the country mainly due to its continuous use of upgraded IT Technology in its Business. At present the Company offers easy, safe and secure repayment option to its clients and leading to an Eco-system of cashless society.
For more information, please visit- www.sonataindia.com
About Grameen Foundation:
Established in 2010, Grameen Foundation (GFI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation. Grameen Foundation’s mission is to enable the low income segments, especially women, to create a world without poverty and hunger. We provide strategic and technical expertise to leading social enterprises, financial services providers and technology providers to extend financial services and information to underserved communities, especially women. Our focus is on developing technology-enabled solutions to drive access and usage of a range of financial services. Our institutional partners include commercial banks, mobile network operators, microfinance institutions, healthcare providers and others. Together, we create solutions that help low income segments people to generate income, build assets, strengthen their resilience and manage risk.
For more information, please visit- www.grameenfoundation.in
About Citi Foundation:
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi| Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About Citi India:
Citi India offers consumers including Non Resident Indians, corporates and financial institutions, a comprehensive range of financial products and services. These include retail banking, mortgage finance, credit cards, personal loans, corporate and investment banking, foreign exchange, securities brokerage, transaction services and wealth management. Citi is an employer of choice and serves more than 2.3 million customers ranging from India’s top corporate houses, multinationals operating in India, SME’s, self-employed entrepreneurs, households and individuals. Citi India has leading market shares in a number of areas in India’s banking industry, including credit cards, distribution of mutual funds, e-commerce banking, investment banking and foreign exchange. In addition, Citi India through its network of Citi Service Centres has been a leading offshoring unit for Citigroup globally, providing employment opportunities in the areas of technology, processing, analytics and financial processes.
Citi India is also committed to enabling socio-economic progress in the communities where we live and work. Since 1999, Citi Foundation through its partnerships, has helped further the financial inclusion agenda through education, and has created livelihood opportunities for youth and marginalized families in India. In addition, Citi has been committed to preserving India’s heritage through its programs focused on art and culture. These efforts, over the past 16 years, have benefited more than 2.5 million people across the country. Citi India continues to promote an inclusive and responsible society through its various CSR initiatives.
For more information, please contact:
Sumit Narula – firstname.lastname@example.org ; 99999 55556