Wireless chip major Qualcomm today announced its 3G project to boost microfinance across the country.
Qualcomm has partnered with Project Concern International India (PCI), a health, development and humanitarian assistance organization; Planned Social Concern (PSC), a microfinance institution; and Microware Computing & Consulting, a telecom and software solutions company, for the project that uses 3G-connected tablets and an Android-based MicroLekha application.
The name of the initiative is the Connecting India to Disconnect Poverty project.
Qualcomm said that the objective of the 3G project is to improve the efficiency, profitability and transparency of microfinance institutions (MFIs) by automating and streamlining routine tasks, expediting the loan application and approval process and improving communication with customers.
The project provides 3G tablets pre-loaded with the mobile application and 3G mobile broadband connectivity to PSC staff working out of their headquarters in Jaipur, Rajasthan State, and multiple field offices. Staff use their tablets, MicroLekha application and 3G connectivity to serve and manage PSC’s 6,000 active customers by accessing a customer’s loan balance and repayment history and updating loan repayments and disbursals.
Additionally, real-time updates of customer repayments prevent potential fraud and embezzlement by loan officers. Loan officers can expedite the loan application and approval process by registering new customers on the spot by using the tablet to scan the required documents for loan approval.
The new system stores documents digitally, which eliminates the need for borrowers to submit paperwork each time they apply for a loan. Further, customers making loan repayments receive transaction receipts and account updates via SMS, ultimately building confidence in the lending process.
Image: Angela Baker addressing a session on Mobile Technology for Financial Inclusion in New Delhi