New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala on Thursday said digitising its self help group (SHG) bank linkage programme could generate up to $4 billion of banking opportunity.
“It’s a business opportunity for banks because we expect on an average of around $3 billion to $4 billion worth of business which will be incrementally available by digitising this programme (SHG-bank linkage programme),” Bhanwala said at the 25th World Congress here.
Addressing the congress hosted by the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), he said Nabard has started digitising some of the program’s operations on a pilot basis and it has observed digitisation leads to higher linkage with banks and other benefits.
“We saw wherever digitisation has happened, there is a better attendance in groups. Social capital formation is much better, group dynamics improve, there is transparency and also we are able to converge with various other programs,” Bhanwala said.
He said digitisation will yield a business opportunity of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore in the first year itself and business worth $3 billion to $4 billion can be achieved in three years.
Channelising small savings into the banking fold in the SHG-bank linkage programme has been the world’s largest micro-finance programme being run by the banks of this country, he said.
“This is a program which is being implemented in India through 60,000 bank branches, 4,000 NGOs and state entities and has an actual participation of 100 million women who regularly save. And, the annual business by these poor women with small savings of Rs 5 or Rs 10 is almost $15 billion,” he said.
The total business of $15 billion comprises Rs 17,000 crore worth own savings, inter-lending of Rs 40,000 crore and bank loans worth Rs 65,000 crore, he said.