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Saturday, March 12, 2011

IT can play a role in financial inclusion: Azim Premji

THRISSUR: Wipro Chairman and Managing Director Azim Premji said information technology can help increase reach of financial services to the poor in rural areas.

Besides bracing up to face the stiff competition, Indian banking system should be ready to shoulder new responsibilities like financial inclusion and penetration into the rural sector to serve the less privileged, Premji said while inaugurating renovated corporate office of South Indian Bank here.

Financial inclusion in India at present compared poorly with its peers in Asia. Rural penetration can be increased only by increased use of information technology, he said.

To bring disadvantaged and low income segments of society under the banking net, the government has advised banks to provide financial services at affordable costs to habitations having a population of over 2000 by March, 2012.

Premji also noted that the global economic crisis was largely the result of indiscipline in US and European banking systems. But it did not affect the Indian banking system mainly due to effective steps by RBI and also self-discipline of banks.

M Damodaran, former Chairman of SEBI and who now heads the Customer Service Committee appointed by RBI, in his keynote address said 'solidity' and not being 'spectacular' should be our aim.

"Be sound, be safe", should be our slogan, he said. He also said it was important for banks to deploy financial services through customer-centric technology and delivery channels to serve customers better. Banks should also equip their customers to use technology so that they would benefit from Information Technology applied in banking services.

Source: EconomicTimes


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