Fintech company Spice Money established an ATM network with 1 lakh Spice Money micro-ATMs across rural areas in the country, making it the fastest-growing micro-ATM network in India. With this milestone, Spice Money has covered 95 per cent of Indian rural pin codes to bring digital and financial inclusion in the rural areas, according to a statement shared by the company on Tuesday, August 17.
Currently, the highest number of traditional ATMs installed by any bank in the country stands at approximately 60,000. The country's largest rural fintech company registers more than Rs 1,000 crore worth of transactions on a monthly basis through its mATM network.
The company integrates technology into the rural financial network and provides financial inclusion for its 'Adhikaris' or banking correspondents, the Kirana stores, stationery shops, or any individual with access to the internet. Spice Money has more than 7 lakh Adhikaris on its network, which allows it to maximise the reach of the micro-ATMs to the cash-driven parts of the nation.
Individuals can equip themselves with the Spice Money micro-ATMs and turn their businesses into a 'Spice Money ‘Digital Dukaan'', offering essential banking services of cash withdrawal, deposit in their local communities, according to the company's statement.
Amid the COVID-induced lockdown, micro ATMs emerged as the key driver to assist people with cash withdrawal and other essential services. Spice Money's mATM network grew from just over 18,000 in February 2020 to more than 1,00,000 as of today.
''Spice Money micro ATM is a perfect fit for such small business owners who can now convert their businesses to Spice Money Digital Dukaan, in zero cost, and provide an additional service of essential banking products to their customers,'' said Sonu Sood, Brand Ambassador and Advisory Board Member, Spice Money.
''Micro-ATMs can play the increasingly crucial role of bridging the gap in financial services by bringing the convenience of banking transactions right to the next door kirana stores in rural India,'' added Mr Sood.
More than 90 per cent of Spice Money's network is in semi-urban and rural India. The company offers services sich as Aadhar enabled payment system for cash withdrawal, bill payments, mini ATM, insurance, cash deposits, Pan Card and mPoS services, among others. The services are available through the Spice Money App (Adhikari App) and web portal.
“As of March-end 2021, India had just 2.39 lakh ATMs for a population of over 1.3 billion. This number establishes the inadequacy of the ATM infrastructure in our country to address the needs of the semi-urban and rural economy that is growing on the back of direct benefit transfers through Jan Dhan accounts,'' said Sanjeev Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Spice Money.
''While establishing a lakh-strong ATM network is a milestone for us, we will continue growing our reach and supporting more rural customers in their financial needs,'' added Mr Kumar.