ESAF Small Finance Bank - India

ESAF Small Finance Bank (Bank, nearly 2.5 million clients, 309 branches)

The Context

India is experiencing a spectacular penetration of mobile phones with 85% of the population having a subscription; nevertheless internet outreach is still moderate (29%) due to limited connectivity and poor reliability of the network, especially in rural areas. Despite the constant growth in outreach, more than 50% of the population, in particular women and rural populations, remain excluded from the formal financial sector. Microfinance clients have always been served by labour-intensive hard paper documentations.

The Technology Solution Programme

ESAF decided to digitise a wide range of its lending processes, in particular customer onboarding, electronic applications, customer financial training, credit appraisal, in-field verification, mandatory customer identity and address verification using eKYC, as well as opening of accounts, cashless disbursement and paperless collections of loan repayments.

ESAF’s field officers use Internet-connected tablets with biometric identity verification and its clients have QR-enabled Aadhaar Cards – with Government-issued 12-digit unique identify numbers based on biometric and demographic data. Their details are automatically transmitted for credit bureau verification, and clients are given ATM cards to withdraw money in convenient tranches from any ATM.

Range of back and front end digital solutions for staff and clients alike