SBI Kiosk is an important initiative taken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to ensure greater financial inclusion of ignored/isolated masses by providing them with a wide array of banking or financial services at their doorsteps and that too either free or at an almost negligible fee. In addition to CSPs other intermediaries as Business Correspondents (BC) were also initiated to make it feasible.
CSP stands for Central Service Point wherein all digital services are provided to the consumers at their doorsteps without being visiting far placed banks thus avoiding all hassles of commutation or time wastage in reaching there.
During a recent survey, it got revealed that not even 20% of the Indian population is connected to banks and which was found to be the exact reason for non-reaching Government scheme benefits to the masses, they were intended for, such as rural people or the geographically isolated one. To fill this gap it was decided to start CSPs at nearby locations of rural and remote areas with a population of 2000 or more to bring them in mainstream and let them avail benefits and convenience of banking in addition to getting connected digitally.
CSP Kiosks are not only a boon to the consumers but also provide job opportunities to many others whether they are distributors, retailers, service providers or vendors. A consumer gets the service and the service providers earn a substantial income in the form of commission on the transactions they made.
A retailer can become an SBI CSP or any other the bank’s CSP by partnering with the bank to open no-frills account of his customers by taking their biometric fingerprints along with their photographs. The necessary documents and details of the customer are forwarded to the affiliate bank branch which later completer the KYC (know-your-customer) process. Once the account is established it entitles the customer to withdraw, deposit or remit up to a maximum of Rs. 10,000/- on daily basis via internet from CSP without visiting the bank and make them avail vital last mile banking services. An SBI CSP can be easily located from an SBI CSP list and can be approached to start the process.
CSP Kiosks are Vital for India’s growth for many reasons few of which can be summarized as –
1) CSPs lead to financial inclusion of rural/remote people and thus bring them in social, financial and economic mainstream. As per the latest figures on the date 67% of Indian population still lives in rural India.
2) It improves brand equity of the banks by increasing their visibility.
3) It widens the customer reach of the banks while extending their services to remote and rural people at an affordable cost.
4) It generates job/business opportunities for rural retailers, distributors and CSP operators.
5) It provides rural/remote people with the convenience of availing Government scheme benefits as in absence of CSPs the monetary benefits were not reaching the people it was intended for.
6) It encourages cottage and other small scale industries (which are vital for India’s economic growth) operating in remote areas to make quick and easy transactions and flourish their business.
7) It provides customers access to DBT/DBTL, Social Security Schemes, banks deposit schemes and other schemes made on a regular basis.
8) It allows the rural people to avail hassle-free bank services as they are not accustomed to the intricacies of banking sectors and thus avoids going banks.
9) It makes it feasible for the needy and the poor people to avail loan facilities, deposits and remittance at the point of time they need it as earlier it was not possible for them to regularly visit banks. This has further saved them from being getting exploited by private companies and local people for seeking financial help.
10) CSP Kiosks have provided necessary timely finance to poor students to complete their necessary education which they were earlier missing because of lack of funds to pay their timely fees and other dues. Now they can easily receive the subsidies, scholarships or other financial assistance.
In the backdrop of above it can be concluded that CSP Kiosks are vital for India and in their absence India cannot think of becoming a global country in the years to come.
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