6. Rural Sector Facilitation
Recognising the importance of ensuring
that the benefits of improvements in payment and settlement systems should be
fully available for the rural population of the country, initiatives are also
planned for products and services for this vital segment of the economy. While
the general thrust of all the action points would encompass the requirements
of the rural populace, special focus would also be given in the form of specialised,
tailor made offerings.
The efforts in this regard will take into account the characteristics of the rural
sector of the Indian economy such as wide geographical coverage,
infrastructural disparities and deficiencies. The differing expectations of the
rural folk of the country will also form part of the foundation on which the
initiatives would be built.
Keeping the above in view, it is
proposed to initiate the following steps towards customer facilitation and protection
1. Improve the availability
and coverage of the new delivery channels. This will be in the form of extension
of facilities, such as, the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) for cash payments.
2. Facilitate large scale
deployment and use of multi-application smart cards which would also be used
for storage and transfer of small value payments in electronic mode. This
would be achieved through introduction of easy-to-use, small and cost effective
hand held devices for transfer of value between cards in a secure manner.
3. Increase the reach of
electronic modes of funds transfer at rural areas by providing variations
of such modes, but with a rural bias. The proposed NEFT system would be modified
in such a way that the non-networked branches in rural areas can access the
NEFT branches of banks for transfer of funds
4. Increase the reach of
payment services by means of tie up and collaboration with other large coverage
entities, such, as the Post Offices.
5. Provide support for new
modes of traditional facilities, such as, ATM-based Kisan cards.