Axis Bank, today said that it has signed an MoU with IDEA Cellular, whereby Idea will act as a Business Correspondent of Axis Bank to provide the bank’s financial products and services through its retail outlets.

The association will be flagged-off with a ‘remittance pilot’ between Dharavi in suburban Mumbai and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, which will enable money transfer using the mobile platform, a press release issued here stated.

Idea and Axis Bank will also explore extending the association to include other banking products and services such as savings, credit, micro insurance, micro SIP and micro pensions in a phased manner.

On completion of the successful pilot, a full range of banking services is proposed to be launched across the pan-India footprint of IDEA Cellular, subject to receipt of all statutory and regulatory approvals, the release said.

Axis Bank’s President, Agri Business & Rural Banking , S K Mitra, said “as a total solutions bank, we are always exploring options to deliver improved and convenient services to customers across all strata of society. We have already undertaken urban and rural financial inclusion initiatives in parts of India on a POS platform through our business orrespondents. We were keen to adopt additional delivery channels to drive financial inclusion and were particularly keen on a mobile-based channel, considering the reach and the low-cost service delivery platform.”

“Since only 41 per cent of the adult population has bank accounts, whereas more than 70 per cent of adults own a mobile connection, associating with a telecom service provider looked to be the apt choice,” he said.

”We are pleased to partner Axis Bank in its Financial Inclusion initiative through a pilot based on mobile-enabled low-cost banking service model,” Ambrish Jain, director,  operations, Idea Cellular said. ”Idea’s mobile technology platform will enable the provision of a gamut of banking products and services to the end customer, and allow cash transactions at select Idea retail points.”

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