PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital network, today announced a partnership with Grameen Foundation for Social Impact (GFSI), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to uplifting underserved communities, to upskill 150,000 business correspondents (BCs) across India and upgrade them to provide digital and financial services beyond cash-in/cash-out to the underserved and tech-shy last mile population. This would boost rural BC counters by providing long-term viable business solutions and transforming them into grassroots change advocates. The collaboration will also aim to provide employment opportunities for Bharat’s women and youth.
PayNearby and Grameen Foundation for Social Impact will start a pan-India scale-up project named ‘Scaling Agent Viability and Quality in India’ as part of this cooperation, which will be financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The project will be finished during the next two years. It represents an important step toward magnifying the impact of BCs in improving financial access across the country by expanding their financial product offerings beyond standard cash-in and cash-out services. A broader product offering will boost customer retention and enable these correspondents to establish other income streams.
This collaboration between PayNearby and GFSI is not only a strategic step toward increasing financial accessibility, but it is also an important initiative for empowering women in the financial sector. This campaign emphasizes skill development among BCs as well as gender awareness. This initiative will expand chances for both rural BC counters and women’s professional progress and financial empowerment by providing the appropriate skills, knowledge, and assistance. The goal is to recruit 15,000 female BC agents, fostering gender equality in the industry.
Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO of PayNearby, commented on the development, saying, “In the dynamic landscape of Bharat, achieving mass transformation necessitates mass mobilization, and the formidable BC network is ideally positioned to embrace this challenge.” BCs have been critical in closing the financial and digital divide at the last mile.
We are thrilled to be collaborating with Grameen Foundation for Social Impact to upskill the BC network and transform them into successful multi-service counters that go beyond cash-in/cash-out services. This is crucial not only for the long-term financial stability of rural BC counters, but also for community growth at the grassroots level. A diverse product portfolio will not only increase value per footfall, but it will also increase customer loyalty and retention.”
“We are extremely honored to be a facilitator for the empowerment of women BCs, who are the drivers of rural progress,” says Alok Kumar Jha, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer at PayNearby. This collaboration demonstrates our dedication to our Sashakt Naari, Sashakt Samaaj, Sashakt Desh objective. We hope to achieve not only sustained self-employment for Women BC Sakhis, but also to bring more women from Bharat’s hinterland into the official financial fold through them, thus closing the gender gap at the last mile.”
“With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), we are delighted to embark on this impactful collaboration with PayNearby,” stated Arindam Dasgupta, Director of Innovations In Digital Finance, Grameen Foundation for Social Impact. Our shared goal of increasing financial inclusion and empowering women is at the heart of this collaboration. We hope to effect substantial change by improving agent quality, expanding product accessibility, and building a more equitable financial landscape by using our combined skills. We are forging a course for a brighter and more powerful future for all.
The relationship is based on a common commitment to improving women’s ability to shape and prosper in a more connected business environment, showcasing the benefits of inclusive development, women’s economic empowerment, and women’s economic empowerment.