ICT in microfi nance: a case study of microfi nance banks in Pakistan
The imperative for financial inclusion is both a moral one and one based on economic efficiency. One roadblock to access, even to something as simple as a universal basic savings account, knows your customer (KYC) requirements. Real-time funds transfer through the immediate payment service (IMPS) put in place by National Payments Corporation of India has contributed significantly towards growth of mobile banking. The intermediary processes the payment, and sends a code to the recipient on his mobile that allows him to withdraw the money from any nearby banks ATM. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has prescribed optimum service parameters, as also a ceiling on charges for provision of USSD services by telecom operators to the banks and their agents. Technology, with its capacity to reduce transaction costs, is key to enabling the large volume low-ticket transaction that is at the centre of financial inclusion.