SAIJA has deployed a cashless mobile based payment transfer system to the clients for making repayments, in collaboration with EKO, who is a business correspondent of ICICI Bank and SBI. EKO provides the technology platform to render the various services like low cost account opening, fund transfer, deposits to the low income clients etc. This initiative is a first for microfinance institution collections, as it seeks to improve the quality of service to the client, increase efficiency & productivity of field staff and reduce the risk of cash handling in the field.
In this process, the client visits an EKO customer service point (CSP), provides their group id, due amount and linked mobile number. The CSP owner then processes the transaction and the client receives payment confirmation message immediately.
There are major benefits of using this system for both Saija and to the customers. For Saija, the benefit is in saving substantial man-hours in the field which could be utilized in increasing the staff productivity on customer identification and services, reduction in cost of insurance and product level operating cost reduction. For clients, the benefit lies in providing greater flexibility to group members in choosing the timing of payment, and avoiding waiting for Saija field executives to come for collections resulting in more time for income generation activities.