We met with Anitha, a young woman from Tungani village, in Karnataka, India. This village was untouched by any form of financial services before microfinance got introduced.
Anitha, along with her husband, runs a small convenience store in the village. She has availed several loans for her children's education and other necessities. Thanks to the financial credits, Anitha and her family were able to meet some of their basic needs and solve essential daily life problems.
Increasing outreach through technology
Anitha is one of the 2.77 million low-income customers served by CreditAccess Grameen (www.creditaccessgrameen.com), the biggest microfinance organization in India.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, the organization is currently operating in 230 districts in thirteen states and one union territory (Puducherry) in India through 928 branches and 7,587 loan officers. It has issued more than 4 million loans impacting the lives of many and contributing to improving India’s economy and well-being.
In 2018, CreditAccess Grameen implemented a Digital Field Application (DFA) solution in partnership with Software Group. This technology assists in enabling quick access to credit and creating positive, long-lasting change in people’s lives.
Currently, CreditAccess Grameen is using the DFA solution in more than 330 branches, ensuring faster turnaround time with an instant credit check. The technology helps the organization to increase its outreach and product diversification as well as provide convenient financial services at the customer’s doorstep.
Providing faster loans to meet basic needs
Ananda Raju is a Center Manager of the Kanakapura branch. He joined CreditAccess Grameen 6 years ago. This is what he shares with our team, seeing the transition in the processes after adopting the new technology.
“Before implementing the new technology, for example, if we start work by 12:30, we used to complete it by 4:30 or 5:00 pm. Now, all of our work is done through the application, and thanks to this our Center Managers can complete their tasks much faster - by 12:30 or 1:00 pm in the afternoon."
After visiting the branch in Kanakapura, we traveled to Tungani village, where CreditAccess Grameen’s team conducted a group meeting with local customers. Some of them have been with the organization for the past 17 years, and are eligible for multiple loans, including loans for sanitation, education, house improvements, etc. Each of the customers has 2-3 credits at the same time.
“This app has helped us a lot in terms of getting real-time updates on the collection status on the field level,” explained Arun Kumar, Head of Information Technology, CreditAccess Grameen. He added that the Center Managers use the DFA app for performing all field level tasks, which were earlier manual and time-consuming. Using the application, they can save time and increase their efficiency as well as serve their customers faster.
Bringing efficiency to the next level
"Within the next 2-3 years, our entire transactions would be digitized. There would be paperless operations, and the data would be digitized", said Udaya Kumar, MD & CEO of CreditAccess Grameen.
He is convinced that technology like DFA is the crucial ingredient that will bring organization’s efficiency to the next level.