We will continue growing our reach and supporting more rural customers in their financial needs, says Sanjeev Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Spice Money.
MUMBAI, Aug 18 (The CONNECT) – Rural fintech firm Spice Money has claimed that it has crossed a milestone by establishing one lakh Spice Money Micro-ATMs (mATM) operating across rural India.
The highest number of traditional ATMs installed by any bank in the country currently stands at about 60,000, making Spice Money the fastest growing mATM network in the country. Spice Money witnesses over Rs 1000 crores worth of transactions month on month basis on its mATM network.
While the access to banking in rural areas has been improving over the years, only 5% of the 6,00,000 villages had a commercial bank branch in 2019. When compared to global counterparts, India is among the countries to have the lowest ATM penetration in the world.
Sanjeev Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Spice Money, said, “Spice Money’s mission since its establishment has been financial inclusion of the rural population of Bharat, thereby, bringing in greater financial freedom to end users as well as our rural entrepreneurs, Adhikaris. As we step into the 75th year of Indian Independence, we are privileged to be celebrating this landmark year by delivering on this promise.”
“As of March-end 2021, India had just 2.39 lakh ATMs for a population of over 1.3 billion. This number establishes the inadequacy of the ATM infrastructure in our country to address the needs of the semi-urban and rural economy that is growing on the back of direct benefit transfers through Jan Dhan accounts. The ATM network in these parts has, in many cases, witnessed a de-growth, causing the cash-heavy economy to struggle with low access to digital financial services. This is a huge deterrent for financial inclusion in the country. Spice Money has persistently been working towards expanding the micro-ATM network to all corners of India bringing financial and digital empowerment so that rural consumers can access their own money and attain financial freedom. While establishing a lakh-strong ATM network is a milestone for us, we will continue growing our reach and supporting more rural customers in their financial needs,” Kumar said.
Sonu Sood, Brand Ambassador and Advisory Board Member, Spice Money, said, “I have been supporting small businesses with more growth opportunities so that they can prosper and also benefit the local community that they operate in. Spice Money micro ATM is a perfect fit for such small business owners who can now convert their businesses to Spice Money Digital Dukaan, in zero cost, and provide an additional service of essential banking products to their customers. Micro-ATMs can play the increasingly crucial role of bridging the gap in financial services by bringing the convenience of banking transactions right to the next door kirana stores in rural India.”
Earlier this year, Spice Money introduced an initiative offering the company’s micro-ATM devices at effective zero cost to further accelerate its vision of financial inclusion and encourage Adhikaris to become a part of building an extensive ATM network.
In May 2021, Spice Money became the first company to introduce an ATM in India’s last village, Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, where one of the only two kirana stores was converted into a Spice Money Digital Dukaan after being equipped with a micro-ATM. Before this, the closest ATM for the residents of Chitkul had been 25 kilometres away in Sangla. Spice Money plans to cover more such far flung remote areas with its micro ATM network.