The ground reality is that rural regions face a severe scarcity of ATMs and POS machines, expired or non-operational debit cards and the population in these areas are less digitally savvy regarding online payments. Only 5% of rural India which is 30k of the 6.5 lakh villages have access to ATMs. Last year, the government declared over 115 million debit cards invalid since they lacked the appropriate chip and PIN mandate. In the wake of this the pandemic lockdown, the owners of these invalid cards are now left in the lurch as they are non-functional. In this case, it was PayNearby that gave people access to financial services through their BC network.
Even as the finance ministry announced ₹1.75 lakh crore will be given to “80 crore poorest Indians” under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) over three months starting April 1, there are several logistical challenges that impede their access to this relief package. Furthermore, there is a lack of awareness by the rural population themselves - 1.25 lakh crore DBT remains unwithdrawn in bank accounts. In such circumstances, it is banking correspondents who are doing the national duty of serving as disbursal points for cash withdrawal - doing over 125 crore worth transactions per day.
PayNearby has been integral in promoting AePS (Aadhar enabled Payment System) in the country. It currently has over 33% market share in AePS, with transactions more than doubling in the last month to almost 6 lakh daily. India’s unique demography is such that even as 1.1 billion people have bank accounts, a large chunk is unable to fill out official documents. Thus, India has greatly benefited from AePS for direct benefit transfer, which aids in seamless DBT deployment.
“We are extremely grateful to the government for establishing the Aadhaar system so successfully within the country. In times like these, the use of biometrics is a great equaliser in terms of financial access, as AePS resolves many operational hurdles, especially in rural areas. Currently, 93% of our retailers are dedicatedly serving in rural regions, with 1 lakh Digital Pradhans doing transactions daily, mindful of careful sanitation and social distancing. We are extremely privileged thatwe could answer to this call of National duty”, remarked Anand Kumar Bajaj, MD & CEO, PayNearby.
During these challenging times too, PayNearby’s platform and their Digital Pradhan retailers have been summoned to serve people at the last mile. Along with their banking partners and NPCI, they have been working tirelessly in severely affected areas where ATMs are non-operational or non-accessible, and even hospitals, police stations and NGOs are availing their services.
About Nearby Technologies Pvt. Ltd.:
Incepted in April 2016, Nearby Technologies is a fintech company offering financial/non-financial services to the underbanked and unbanked segment. Nearby Technologies works on a B2B2C model through its various brands – PayNearby, Insure Nearby, BuyNearby and few more. PayNearby empowers retailers at the first mile to offer digital services to local communities, thereby boosting financial inclusion in India. Retailer services are focused on Aadhaar based banking services, Domestic Remittances, Bill Payments, Card Payments, and insurance services among others.
It was founded by Anand Kumar Bajaj, Subhash Kumar, Yashwant Lodha & Rajesh Jha who bring with them rich experience in the field of banking, payments and other financial sectors. PayNearby is a DIPP-certified FinTech startup, partnering with various financial institutions including YES Bank, RBL Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, CC Avenue, Bill Desk, NPCI, FASTag, NBFC and FMCG companies. It is the sole technology provider using Aadhaar Enabled Payment Services (AEPS) and IMPS to YES Bank, making them one of the only two fintech companies hosted by the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI).