Remittances: ICICI Builds Technology-Based Financial Literacy Services and Remittances Products for Rural Markets
This brief article describes the experience of ICICI Bank in relations to its innovative approach in providing remittance services. ICICI has discovered that, in India, there is a large untapped rural market which lacks awareness of financial services as well as convenient access to remittance delivery services. To service this market, ICICI faced two challenges: first, designing a tailored product specific to these customers and, second, providing them with easy access to funds. To address the needs of the rural population, ICICI decided to pilot a rural remittance product.
This article begins by providing background to the pilot project and then discusses the different phases of the scheme. Phase 1 covered designing and simplifying access via technology through the use of ATMs and Cash Agent Model. Phase 2 then covered designing the products. Finally, phase 3 covered financial literacy, marketing and launching the pilot product.
The final sections provide a brief discussion on the challenges and opportunities, the implications for institutions offering microfinance services, the future plans of ICICI, and the impact of the innovation on businesses.