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FSS is looking to expand its assisted model through its 'smart cash' operations to 1000 villages with over 2000 people by March. FSS Smart Cash is a multipurpose kiosk which will help consumers avail cash and other financial services using Grameen Pay which is an app for rural banking.

"The kiosks have been started in two states - Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra," V. Balasubramanian, CEO, FSS Cashtech told ET. "By February, it will be available in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. And by March, we should be in 1000 villages of over 2000 people."

He said the company was relying on this model to address issues of literacy, access points and suitable financial products. Further, he said many people did not have the means in terms of a smartphone or the literacy to download an app and find financial products that suit their needs by themselves. And hence, these Smart Cash kiosks will be run by rural entrepreneurs who can be agents with banks

FSS is terming this facility as a ‘branch in a box’ where consumers will not have to preserve any tokens/cards or physical documents as everything will be done through biometric authentication which the company said is more secure that remembering a PIN number and cannot be duplicated.

He went on to add that India has about 200,000 villages with a population of more than 2000 people. The company is focused on targeting this demographic through an assisted model that consists of business champions who are present in 100 villages and smart cash kiosks that are present in 10 villages.

"It's like a digital kiosk where they go and do all their transactions. The kiosk replaces their need for a smartphone plus it gives them withdrawal and deposit facilities. Otherwise, there is a business champion of FSS who has the smartphone and helps them do the transaction using that smartphone," Balasubramanian said.

FSS' Grameen Pay is an app that acts as a one stop solution for residents/consumers to withdraw, deposit cash, avail loan, invest and so on. The company is partnering with banks and lending institutions for this. Balasubramanian said that banks often hesitate to penetrate rural markets owing to heavy infrastructure costs they incur in these regions for minimum return on investment or ROI but by adapting to this technology, these players can now expand their operations seamlessly at a minimum cost, he said.

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FSS-assisted Model Through 'Smart Cash' to Reach 1000 Villages
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FSS-assisted Model Through 'Smart Cash' to Reach 1000 Villages

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