Micro-Finance plays a major role in the development of several rural areas helping the rural poor to accumulate their small savings. Due to the remarkable development of the Information Technology, Micro-finance is now well-known as a sustainable and lucrative way of growing outreach of the banking system to the poor.
Micro-Finance is classified under two major models they are, Self-Help Group (SHG)-Bank Linkages and SHG Micro-Finance Institutions (MFI)-Bank Linkages. MFI are suitably sanctioned and opportune to service new requests swiftly and effectively. The financial services offered by MFI are:
- Payment services
- Money transfers
- Insurance to poor and low-income households and their microenterprises
Micro-Finance offers cost effective approach to formal institutions for expanding outreach to the poor and focuses on the rural and the urban poor (especially women). It also helps them to establish or expand a small, self-sustaining business and develop collateral substitutes. It aids to pursue the objectives of macro-economic growth effectively. These factors drove the formal banking sector to Micro-Finance.
MFI employs a team of agents called field agents working for a bank to provide doorstep banking. This personnel approach renders higher cost of servicing and avoids operational inefficiencies because of compound hand-offs in record keeping.
Majority of the MFI use back-end systems that were developed internally or they use normal worksheets to manage the client and transaction history but less than 10% of them use commercially developed management information systems to maintain databases. These systems developed are elementary where gathering and analyzing data using the system results in problems with lack of maintenance, early recognition of default and incapability to perform data mining for micro level analysis.
The following are the capabilities that Modular Micro-Finance cards offers over these MIS:
- Facilitate to replace these outdated MIS with a self sustained management system.
- Provide a technology to manage data electronically so that MFIs are assured of early availability of data to make timely decisions.
- Support the Self Help Group Model, Joint Liability Group Model and Partnership Model based operations adopted by the various MFI to assure availability of data easily and quickly to make timely decisions.
- Ensure that Micro-Finance institutions are empowered to overhaul new relationship requests timely, quickly, judiciously and adequately during field level request.
- Fill the gap to provide better processes, customized products and automated systems for Micro-Finance institutions to overcome constraints of manuals processes.
Modular supports migration of debit and credit cards from magnetic stripe to chip technology. Banking cards are used as direct credit, debit or stored value cards offering a bogus and tamper proof device.
Banking cards are defined as a smart card for payment services including e-purse, credit and debit functions issued by financial institutions or banks. High fraud rates have necessitated the use of these smart banking cards. The adoption of smart banking cards had increased rapidly in recent years.
The banking card is printed with the host bank’s logo, contains an embedded ST Microelectronics NV microchip and conforms to the CC1000 SchlumbergerSema operating system.
This intelligent microchip placed on the card and the card readers use mutual authentication procedures that protect users, merchants and banks from fraudulent usage. Modular provides these debit and credit smart cards which is standard and committed to all future standard enhancements.
Following are a few features of a banking card:
Multipurpose: Banking card serves as ATM card, e-Debit card and e-Purse. Targeted: The in built security feature determines the access to information and the person to authorize the transaction.
Secure: The data in the card can be accessed or modified by an authorized Security Access Module (SAM) only. This SAM resets each time a new bank card is used. Whenever the card is inserted into a device utilizing a SAM, the system requires the card to verify the SAM and the SAM to validate the card in order for authentication to occur.
Updateable: The capacity of the card accepts post issuance data without recalling the card from card holders. This is a major advantage over other cards in the market.
Efficient: This card replaces cash and allows the card holder to make purchases with any number of participating vendors very efficiently. Card holders can also withdraw funds, transfer funds, or make bill payments since transactions occur quickly.
Following are a few services rendered by a banking card:
ATM Card: Banking card offers the same services (cash withdrawal, fund transfers, bill payments and account balance information) as the magnetic strip ATM cards but with a much higher level of security. e-Debit: e-Debit is a cashless payment system whereby purchases or bill payments are deducted directly from the cardholder’s bank account and transferred into the retailers or service company’s bank account.
MEPS Cash: MEPS cash is an electronic purse application that allows card holders to load electronic monetary value directly from their accounts onto their banking cards where the money is stored and handled electronically.
An electronic purse is a convenient alternative to cash when it comes to low value transactions or where exact change or coins are required (vending machines, public transport, parking meters, and so on).
MEPS cash has an advantage of cash with security and convenience.
Following are a few advantages of banking card:
- Elimination of Cash-Based Systems, easy to replace cash transactions and requires less maintenance than magnetic stripe readers and currency feeds..
- Improved customer service with fast, 24-hour electronic fund transfers
- Low rates of fraud with enhanced security. Increase trust through improved security.
- Costs are reduced as managed electronically
- More reliable and robust
- User-friendly for easy interface with the intended application. Can be handled like the familiar magnetic stripe bank card, but more versatile.
- Susceptible to chip damage from physical abuse, but more difficult to disrupt or damage than the magnetic stripe card
- Highly secure and difficult to duplicate or disrupt information
University smart cards are an intelligent, programmable, credit card- sized computer with the potential to increase convenience, efficiency and security of a university and its non university partners. Growing numbers of University administrators are turning to smart cards to improve security and reduce vandalism on campuses.
Modular proposes and coordinates strategic partnerships that make it possible for a university to collaborate with other institutions such as banks, clinics and merchants for value added services to their students and staffs. The university smart card carries academic, personal, banking, health even life saving medical information in case of illness or accidents and merchant applications due to the in-built security features protect data. The cards also make it more convenient to gain access to equipment, charge cafeteria meals and even buy prom tickets.
Following are a few features of a University Smart Card:
Security: Smart cards can be electronic key rings, giving the bearer ability to access information and physical places without need for online connections. They are encryption devices, so that the user can encrypt and decrypt information without relying on unknown, and therefore potentially untrustworthy, appliances such as ATMs. Smart cards are very flexible in providing authentication at different level of the bearer and the counterpart.
The card access is determined by the University, limiting the buildings and hours accessible to each individual.
Flexibility: A single card can be used as an ID, a credit card, a stored-value cash card, and a repository of personal information. These cards can be easily replaced if lost. The card would be deactivated by the card reader if illegally used.
Multipurpose: An exciting feature of a smart card is that the technology allows it to perform many diverse functions. Each of these functions has its own set of inbuilt tamper-proof access safeguards to keep data secure and private.
Portable: Smart cards are the shape and size of the average credit card or identity card. The brain of which is a thin microprocessor embedded in small sections of the card itself.
Updateable: Information on the smart card can be updated, changed or erased anytime. Even new applications can be added to smart cards at any stage.
Efficient: Smart card transactions are quick and efficient. The advantage of a university card is the cost saving resulting from cutting down of administrative time and paperwork and reduction in transaction errors.
Following are a few services rendered by a University Smart Card:
Access: Provides as a keycard to campus housing (students), offices (staff), computer and science labs, academic buildings and park areas.
Personal data: Stores updateable name, address and contact information, identity card number, next of kin information and medical records (such as blood type, allergies and so on) in large numbers.
Student Information: Records such as mark sheets, courses undertaken, grade average, attendance, disciplinary record, academic standing, sports record, foreign student information, library privileges, school facility reservations, financial standing and scholarship information are stored.
Financial Transactions: Payment of university and tuition fees, receipt of funds or scholarship money, payment at university bookstore, payment at canteen, e-purse for on-campus purchases, payment/loyalty points/student discounts with select merchants.