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It’s called branchless banking: the ability to provide small, abundant access points and mobile solutions for the rural population living outside the range of most banking institutions. In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman speaks with one of branchless banking’s greatest proponents and the co-founder of Eko India Financial Services, Abhishek Sinha. Beginning in 2007, Abhishek and his brother Abhinav began conceptualizing ways in which small, local businesses could provide the brick-and-mortar storefronts for rural banking customers, while basic cell phones would meet all of the technological needs. Having now partnered with India’s two largest banks, Eko India provides customers with the ability to set up their own bank in less than 15 minutes. Creating simple methods to convert physical into electronic currency has streamlined rural remittance transactions, and is just one of many reasons that Abhishek and Abhinav Sinha have been named The Tech Awards 2011 laureates of the Flextronics Economic Development Awards.
This passage from Global Inequality argues that we should focus less on inequalities between specific identity groups and more on reducing overall wealth gaps.
For households facing financial volatility, the wrong kind of credit can drag them under. But it can also be a tool for building stability. How can we make loans for big-ticket items like vehicles both good for people and good for business?