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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): AU SFB joins hands with Reserve Bank Innovation Hub for digital empowerment of women street vendors

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Taking ahead its ‘Badlaav Humse Hai’ commitment, AU Small Finance Bank (AU SFB), India’s largest small finance bank, today announced its association with Reserve Bank Innovation Hub to extend digital lending to women street vendors across India under the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme. The initiative was launched today by Mr. Rajesh Bansal, CEO, Reserve Bank Innovation Hub and Mr. Uttam Tibrewal, Executive Director, AU Small Finance Bank at a special Women’s Day program organized at Bengaluru.
PM SVANidhi scheme was launched by Government of India during the pandemic to empower Street Vendors by not only extending collateral free working capital loans to them, but also for their holistic development and economic upliftment.
Since the introduction of the PM SVANidhi scheme in June’20, AU Small Finance Bank has been working towards extending it by providing small working capital loans to street vendors. Over the years, it was realized that the manual application verification and assessment, multiple physical bank visits of customers and time-taking loan disbursement, made the process very tedious for the beneficiaries.
Therefore, with technical partnership of Reserve Bank Innovation Hub’s incubated start-up- MAKSPAY, AU SFB will now be able to fast track the loans disbursement from days to hours. Reserve Bank Innovation Hub helped the bank enable a more efficient customer onboarding and loan disbursement gateway.  Besides, the Bank is offering to deploy free of cost UPI QR codes at each street vendor’s cart which will make its vendor-customers digitally available to accept convenient online payments.
Speaking on the launch event, Mr. Uttam Tibrewal, Executive Director, AU Small Finance Bank, commented, “Our partnership with Reserve Bank Innovation Hub and MAKSPAY for digitizing loan disbursements for women street vendors is another humble effort to empower entrepreneurs and promote holistic financial inclusion. I am immensely grateful to RBI Innovation Hub and MAKSPAY for extending their technical expertise to make the PM SVANidhi scheme more accessible through the end-to-end digital process. We are also delighted to provide these customers our savings product and various value-added services like UPI QR codes that can help them achieve their financial goals faster. At AU Small Finance Bank, we are committed to promoting financial inclusion and bridging the digital payments divide, particularly among the under-banked segments of society. Through these efforts, we hope to create a more inclusive and equitable financial system for all.”
Mr. Rajesh Bansal, CEO, Reserve Bank Innovation Hub, said, “We are happy to have AU Small Finance Bank as a partner in for the pilot on digitisation of loan disbursements under the PM SVANidhi Scheme. This is a great example of how we can achieve the objective of financial inclusion through digital solutions. With this initiative, the benefits of PM SVANidhi loans meant to empower street vendors will further reach to more women borrowers. We are delighted at the prospects of the positive impact of this partnership in promoting financial inclusion and supporting the growth of small businesses. We look forward to more such collaborations that will drive financial inclusion through innovation on the ground level.”
Over the last 27+ years, AU has focused its resources on empowering the unbanked and underbanked population in the rural and semi-urban India. AU SFB targets promising borrowers and meticulously studies their backgrounds through intensive field investigation before initiating loans. Additionally, it lends based on a comprehensive gap analysis of the industry and business of the customer and their future potential. AU Bank’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion and empowering underserved communities is a testament to its vision of building a society where every individual is financially included in a way that enhances their livelihoods and drives sustainable development.
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