Canara Bank launched new products on Financial Inclusion

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Bangalore, Sep 20 (UNI) In a major initiative to achieve total Financial Inclusion and to take its services to the doorsteps of customers the Canara Bank, has launched three new and products including Mobile ATM and Smart Cards here today.

Launching the technology driven and innovative Biomatric ATM, Mobile ATM and Smart Cards specially designed for providing facilities to the rural folk as well as illiterate customers, Canara Bank Chairman and Managing Director M D N Rao described it as a significant move towards helping common man and achieve social equity.

He said that the first ever Bio-metric ATM launched today Devanahally branch near Bangalore under the pilot project would be extended soon at other rural branches of the bank across the country.

Emphasising that the concept of Financial Inclusion was not new to the Bank Mr Rao remembered Late Ammembala Subbarao Pai, the founder of the bank who believed that bank is not just a commercial entity but also a social institution and its services should be access to one and all in the society.

Mr Rao informed that the Bank's the bio-metric ATM had the feature of any other ATM with added functions of capturing the finger prints of customers which would be transferred to Main Server through CDMA phone. The data would enable to authenticate the customer through finger prints instead of PIN and guiding the customer through the process of transaction with the help of pre-recorded voice system in the regional language.

"With this even illiterate customer can inquire his balance and withdraw cash from his account at the AATM through the card supplied to him by the bank" he said.

To make banking facilities to reach remote areas and which had remained outside the banking arena, would be providing transaction facilities to its customers through hand held machines operated by Smart Cards with biometric identifications.

Under the pilot projects smart cards will be provided to the customers of Eliyur and Kuluvanahalli villages. The contact less smart cards would store the data for the customer's account on the chip loaded on it. "As and when the customer draws or deposits cash into his account through the business correspondent representing the bank it is uploaded from customer's smart cards to their server and subsequently to the bank's data base with the help of mobile hand set" he said.

Mr Rao also informed that under the Financial Inclusion initiative the Canara Bank has so far opened 6 lakh no-frills accounts in over 1639 villages and set a target to reach to ten lakhs by this year end.

On the mobile VAN with biometric ATM facility which was also launched today Mr Rao informed that it was specially designed for providing ATM facility to the rural folk as well as other customers.

"The Van would move in and around Bangalore city at the pre-determined places and also accessible to Biometric card holders" he said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Ms Usha Thorat, who also addressed the gathering on the occasion has informed that Financial Inclusion means not only to extend banking facilities to rural people but also to provide it at their convenient time which suit for them. "It is also an initiative to promoting for savings and income-generating and extending financial management services to the poor, women and section of downtrodden in the society".

She said that ever since the RBI launched the Financial Inclusion drive over 60 lakh no-frills accounts have been opened elsewhere the country. Appreciating the initiative of Canara Bank to exploit new technology in its bid to extent banking services to even remote areas in the country Mrs Thorat opined that more number of services including payment of Pensions, government subsidies also can be added to make it more viable.

UNI

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