Financial Services (105)
New level of service
Rostelecom launched new payment and information service machines in Russia. They are meant to help people obtain information about taxes, fees, public services, government regulation as well as provide immediate payments. The device will also be used as advertising space.
Why it matters
As people increasingly withdraw from traditional advertising methods, could the digital space provide a solution?
In Japan, the Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank will offer card free ATM machines. Using only your pin code and your birthdate, the ATM will scan the palm of your hand to verify your identity. The bank offers this service to make sure you can always withdraw money, whether you forgot your wallet, you lost your card or you’ve been caught in a natural disaster.
One of the biggest challenges that poor urban entrepreneurs face is lack of access to capital. Banks and financial institutions are hesitant to lend to these individuals due to credit risk and small money lenders charge almost usurious interest rates. State Bank of India has developed a unique model where small sums (sometimes as low as $100) are loaned to individuals who form ‘Self Help Groups’ that together add up to a significant corpus. The bank benefits because the default risk is spread across multiple individuals in same social circle. Additionally peer pressure helps to prevent defaults.