Digiprayas, a joint initiative Axis bank and Digital Empowerment Foundation aims to impart digital financial literacy to rural areas of the country. It helps communities in seeking modern forms of banking through the digital medium, by first familiarizing them with the digital interface, and helping them access digital banking services. The project aims to work with communities in 12 panchayats across five states in the country.
The initiative involved several levels of engagement from community awareness programs to individual training. The trainings involved imparting information on the technological transformation in accessing banking services, process of opening a bank account, concept of demand draft, use and benefit of Debit cards, Micro-ATMs, concept of online and mobile banking with hands-on use of app-based banking services for money transfer, recharge, bill payments and checking details of your bank accounts.
The project targeted 500 community members in each primary and adjacent village covering more than 6000 households. The project was completed in a span of three months, achieving the desired target and empowering a large number of people to use digital financial tools in their daily lives.
The DigiPrayas followed a youth-led model wherein 12 young local village leaders were selected to drive the digital-financial programmed in their respective village. Each leader was trained in using and transacting the digital financial content to the community and equipped with digital tools to include; Laptop, Tablet, Projector, Speaker, Microphone and internet connectivity. The digital financial leaders mobilized the community to spread the awareness and trainings through public meetings, financial literacy drives, community workshops and door-to-door awareness campaigns. The leader engaged with the community through formal and informal ways and built trust and positive relations with the community. He was also given monthly targets to complete his awareness and training program and was closely monitored through digital apps and offline techniques. The model was successful across the 12 villages due to the passion, determination of the selected individuals to include the information-dark communities in the digital-financial sector.
The DigiPrayas project was conducted across five states, 12 districts and 36 primary and adjacent villages. The villages with low or zero degree of banking facilities, low literacy levels and lack of awareness on digital and financial tools were selected to bridge the widening divide.
- In the state of Maharshtra, the districts covered were Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Osmanabad. Under these districts the following villages were covered namely; Kandalgaon, Ambelohal, Ramwadi.
- In the state of Haryana, the districts covered were Sirsa and Karnal. Under these districts the following villages were covered namely; Kachchawa and Rasulpur.
- In the state of Punjab, the districts covered were Patiala and Mohali. Under these districts the following villages were covered namely; Allowan and Malan.
- In the state of Gujarat, the districts covered were Morbi, Bhavanagar and Vadodra. Under these districts the following villages were covered namely; Jhodhapur, Thordi and Bhilpur.
- In the state of Andhra Pradesh, the districts covered were West Godavari and Guntur. Under these districts the following villages were covered namely Satyawada and Birrupalem.
The DIGIPRAYAS initiative has achieved a positive outcome across five states and 12 villages in India. The training in opening bank accounts, using debit cards, ATMs, Swipe machines and mobile and internet banking opened many opportunities to more than 8000 individuals across small towns and villages. The community members were exposed to digital platforms for bill payments, online recharge, virtual passbooks, online shopping, money transfer, online transactions and various e-wallet applications.
The outreach of the project was not only limited to 12 villages but also the neighboring villages thus training communities in more than 30 villages. Community mobilizations, group meetings, film screening, street plays and door-to-door mobilizations helped in reaching out to more than 40,000 individuals.
Children from aanganwadi’s, primary schools, secondary and senior secondary schools, youth from colleges, men and women were all a part of the project. Farmers, shopkeepers, barbers, policemen, priests, housewives and small and micro-scale businessmen were trained in the financial and digital tools.
The project was wide-reaching, inclusive and effective in nature thus giving us a sustainable model to be replicated to many more villages of the country and connecting the last mile.
Districts: Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Osmanabad
Village coverage: Kandalgaon, Ambelohal, Ramwadi
Coverage: Kandalgaon, Morwadi, Gokul Shri Gaon and Kanheri
In Kandalgaon a large number of working population comprising of agricultural workers and labourers were targeted. Most of the beneficiaries were young or middle aged men and women mostly illiterate or primary and secondary school pass outs. The village and its neighboring areas had a relatively large number of bank accounts with 70% of the individuals owning a bank account and only 30% without one.
Out of these 149 individuals owned debit or credits cards. Around 68% of these bank account holders made weekly visits to the bank to access banking facilities. More than 90% of the community members accessed the banking services by visiting the branch.
The Digiprayas initiative trained 479 individuals through door-to-door campaigns and more than 250 through community meetings, street plays and school visits. Almost all 479 individuals were taught the process of creating their own account and assisted on filing the documents, use debit cards in swipe machine or micro-ATMs and app based banking services through mobile and internet services. Using e-wallets, conducting online money transactions were all a part of the training.
Coverage: Ambelohal, Kaswada, and Vadgaon Beneficiaries: 729
In Ambelohal the young boys studying in primary, secondary and senior secondary schools comprised majority of the target group. Around 300 individuals were below the age of 35 years and belonged to agricultural families. Only a few women or girls participated in the program.
Out of the 479 individual that were trained in various subjects related to banking, 378 individuals owned a bank account, 50% of which owned a debit or credit card. Due to the young nature of the target audience, a fairly good number of individuals (82) had used mobile or online banking if they owned a phone; however the 50% of the total engaged in physically visiting the banks for financial transactions. Most people visited the bank on a monthly basis, excluding 30 individuals who visited the bank on a yearly basis.
Mobile or internet banking were used by only 17 people to access financial facilities, however majority had never used digital platform to fulfill their banking needs. More than 344 people visited the bank on a monthly or weekly basis to access any banking service. The training in digital and financial literacy was conducted on an individual interaction in the community, training 422 people in the process of opening an account whereas an entire mass of 1500 people were made aware through video screening, street plays and community-based meetings. 414 were trained in using debit cards and micro-ATMs along with conducting online transactions, transferring money, checking digital passbooks and doing online recharge and shopping.
Coverage: Ramwadi, Panwadi, kodawadi, and Dakwadi Beneficiaries: 1922
The individuals trained in Ramwadi consisted of an equal representation of men and women across all age groups spanning from below 25 years to above 65years of age. Most of the women and men were illiterate or had completed their primary or secondary education. They all engaged in agricultural or non-agricultural labor jobs and only a few had their local business thus majority earning only fifty thousand to a lakh annually.
Since most of the population depended on their daily wage, visiting banks incurred a very high opportunity cost. 368 out of the 422 individuals owned their bank accounts and only 54 needed help in creating one. Majority of the bank account holders did not have their debit cards and only 137 people owned a debit or credit card.
Districts: Sirsa, Karnal Village coverage: Kachchwa, Rasulpur
Coverage: Kachhwa, Pal Nagar and Kumar Kheda Beneficiaries: 503
The target audience in Kachhwa had an equal engagement of women and men and spread across age groups from below 25 years to around 45 years of age. Most of women were illiterate or primary school pass-outs however the men had a comparatively higher education qualification. Most of the community members were employed as laborers or engaged in other small business. Only 50% of the total individuals surveyed had their own bank accounts whereas the other 184 people had not created a bank account. Only 21 people owned debit or credit cards.
In the door-to-door individual training of financial awareness, 327 people were trained in the process of opening an account, 320 in the benefits of using a debit cards at swipe machine or ATMs and like in most cases mobile and internet banking training was provided to 325 people. Apart from individual training, awareness and information for financial literacy was given in groups to more than 180 community members with the help of street plays and films.
Outreach: Rasulpur , Darbi Beneficiaries: 507
The focus of the training in Rasulpur was spread across age groups of 25 years to 45 years covering both men and women. Most of the population was literate and had either a primary, secondary or senior secondary qualification. The primary occupation was agriculture-based or locally-run businesses. The standard of living was relatively high in comparison to other states with maximum population earning one to two lakhs a year.
Out of the 327 people surveyed, 92% owned their bank accounts leaving only 25 without one. More than 80% of the account holders also owned a debit or credit card, but preferred going to the bank physically to avail the banking services. Cash transaction and use of cheque books were a common practice among the target group. Only 1 person had used mobile or internet facilities for banking services. Most of the people visited the bank on a monthly or yearly basis.
Districts: Patiala, Mohali Villages: Allowal, Malan
Coverage: Allowal, Dhundewal Beneficiaries: 902
The target group in Allowal had an equal composition in women and men ranging from age groups below 25 years to senior citizens. A very small percentage of the community members were illiterate and majority was primary, secondary and senior secondary pass-outs. The women in the village were mostly housewives and men worked in labor jobs.
Out of the 402 people who were surveyed, 340 owned a bank account and only a small group of 62 individuals did not have access individuals (13) had accessed internet and mobile based banking.
The Digiprayas initiative has trained326 people in opening a bank account by helping them fill forms and attach the necessary documents for the entire process. Debit cards and micro-ATM training was also given to show its use at petrol pumps, shops and efficiency in comparison to standing in the queue. Mobile based banking and online banking facilities were also a topic that was taught in detail along with the use of several apps.
Coverage: Malan Beneficiaries: 511
The beneficiaries that were surveyed were across age groups ranging between below 25 years to above 66 years. Most of the beneficiaries educated and were either in primary, secondary or graduation. Most of the men were employed in agriculture-related or local businesses and laborers. The women were mostly housewives or worked as laborers. 50% of the individuals that were trained did not have a bank account and only a few members had a debit card. Most of the bank account holders accessed banking facilities from the nearest bank branch on a weekly basis.
Districts: Morbi, Bhavanagar, Vadodara Villages: Jodhapar, Thordi, Bhilpur
Coverage: Rafeleshwar, Jodhapar Beneficiaries: 940
In Jodhapar, the beneficiaries were primarily male however there were a significant number of females. The males were either illiterate or studying in primary and secondary and senior secondary schools. The females were mostly illiterate and primary, secondary pass-outs. The primary occupations of the individuals were laborers followed by owners of local businesses and agriculture-related work.
87% of the total trainees owned their bank account however only 65 did not have a bank account of their own.408 community members also used debit cards and also preferred mobile and internet banking over physically going to the bank. However, though 310 individuals preferred there was own a bank account of their own. 70% of the bank account holders had a debit card and accessed banking facilities by physically going to the bank. Only around 56 people had used mobile or internet banking to a limited extent. The visits to the bank were restricted to monthly visits and as opposed to weekly visits in other villages.
The awareness programs conducted as a part of the mobilizations showed the dire need for awareness on mobile and internet based banking. In the training phase, around 430 individuals were provided with training related to online banking, money transfers, and use of swipe machine at shops, payment of bills online and other banking services through digital platforms.
Coverage: Thordi, Visalpur and Rampura Beneficiaries: 540
The target audience is Thordi village mainly consisted of people below 25 years to 45 years of age. Most of the individuals were men and women comprised of a very small group. Most of the males were either in the primary, secondary or senior secondary school and engaged in labor work or other service oriented jobs. The training was provided to individuals who earned less than a lakh a year.
More than 75% of the population had a bank account and about 109 people did not they were not exposed to online banking facilities.
The Digiprayas initiative exposed 267 people to various benefits and tools to access banking facilities through mobile apps or internet services. The community members watched videos, discussed doubts and even practically downloaded apps to try and understand mobile and internet based banking options.
Coverage: Bhilpur, Vayadpura and Navapura Beneficiaries: 517
Bhilpur village had a fairly equal share of male and female presence at the trainings with youth, students and working population. The males were mainly owners of local businesses and the women were mostly housewives.
267 people were trained and involved in community interactions. Every person mobilized had a bank account; majority had a debit card, and however only one person had used mobile based banking services. More than 90% of the people preferred visiting the banks on a monthly basis as
Districts: West Godawari, Guntur Villages: Satyawada, Birrupalem
Coverage: Satyawada, Velivennu and Kaldhari Beneficiaries: 501
In Satyawada the majority of the beneficiaries were women, comprising 60% of the individuals trained. Most of them were either illiterate or had completed their primary schooling. They were engaged in agriculture-related work at home or outside and most families earned between fifty thousand to a lakh annually.
Out of the 321 individuals, everyone owned an account number and had a debit card issued in their name. Around 57% of the and all of them visited the bank branch to access the services. Every bank holder visited the bank on a monthly basis to avail the services all at once. The awareness programs conducted as a part of the mobilizations showed the dire need for awareness on mobile and internet based banking. In the training phase, around 399 individuals were provided with training related to online banking, money transfers, and use of swipe machine at shops, payment of bills online and other banking services through digital platforms.
Coverage: Birrupalem, Nellapadu, Nandivelugu and Kancherapalem Beneficiaries: 507
In Burripalem, the majority of the beneficiaries were women, comprising 52% of the individuals trained. Most of them were either illiterate or had completed their primary schooling, mojority being in the age group 35-45 years. They were engaged in labor-related work at home or outside and most families earned between fifty thousand to a lakh annually.
Out of the 247 individuals, majority owned an account number and had a debit card issued in their name. Only 3 individuals did not have a bank account. None of the bank holders had used mobile or online banking.
8625 Total beneficiaries
43125 Household beneficiaries