Axis Bank forays into Urban Microfinance segment

downloadAxis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank today announced the launch of its Urban Microfinance programme, providing collateral free credit facilities to low-income women groups in urban locations through its technology driven ‘TAB based lending’ solution.

The urban micro lending initiative, under the Bank’s flagship microfinance programme ‘Axis Sahyog’, was today launched at its Hadapsar branch in Pune. According to industry estimates, urban microfinance currently contributes to 65 percent of the overall microfinance sector.

The loans disbursed to self-employed women, part of Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) are for income generating purposes like tailoring, catering, running kirana shops etc, with an average loan size of Rs 15,000/-. Through the deployment of cutting–edge technology, the Bank performs geo tagging of villages, captures eKYC of the borrower, instantly approves loans on field and provides various pay-out options like cash, savings bank linked and card based disbursal.

The bank has also introduced a first-of-its kind concept of ‘Map module’ under which the villages as well as customer touch points such as meeting place and individual households will be geo tagged and displayed on a map. This feature will help in tracking locations and delivering financial services on time and with accuracy.

At a national level, the Bank intends to commence its urban microfinance offerings in 85 branches across Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Commenting on the launch of the Urban Microfinance programme, Rajiv Anand, Executive Director and Head Retail Banking, Axis Bank said, “The launch of urban microfinance initiative reinforces our commitment of serving the under banked population with innovative banking products and services. We are confident that our technology-enabled offering will help build seamless last mile connectivity and transform the lives of the under banked.”

Axis Bank is currently providing small loans to around 8 lakh households with a total throughput of Rs. 1500 crores; and has a significant presence in economically weaker states, such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.