Syndicate Bank to commence a Smart Card Project
By Ankit Sharma
Oct 24, 2008
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State-run, Syndicate bank is on its way to expand financial inclusion project in the state of Karnataka. The bank has decided to take on the electronic way by launching a smart card based project in three districts of north Karnataka.

The project is likely to be launched on October 22nd by the Chief Secretary of the state government, Sudhakar Rao. State Bank of India and Canara Bank are two other banks that are going to execute this project along with Syndicate Bank. This project aims to take banking facilities to the doors of 3 lakh farmers in the state.

Smart card project is a partof financial inclusion whereby Syndicate Bank will employ people who will go to rural areas and conduct all banking transactions through a hand-held device at the doors of farmers, said the Chairman and Managing Director of Syndicate Bank, George Joseph.

Joseph said, "To begin with, we are launching this project in three districts of Chitradurga, Bellary and Bagalkot in coordination with two other banks and government of Karnataka. The smart card will enable farmers to avail government pension, social security payments, National Rural Employment Guaranteee Programme (NREGP) payments, and wages among others. The project will cover the entire state in phased manner."

Syndicate Bank is implementing the project on financial inclusion solutions based on iMFAST (Integra's Mobile Financial Applications Secure Terminal) system, a service by Bangalore-based Integra Micro Systems (P) Ltd.

iMFAST is a platform designed to handle financial applications specifically targeted at rural customers. It offers all the advantages of portable terminal to handle transactions in the field, smart cards at the hands of farmers and hand-held device to read the card, backed software for authentication, transaction handling in online mode and connectivity to the bank servers.

Under this project, a customer will be given a Smart Card that is going to act like bank's passbook. The smart card will provide customer's identity, transaction store and bio-metric data to the bank. It will also ease services such as opening of no-frills savings accounts, loan accounts, revolving general purpose credit, government beneficiary schemes, fund transfer, remittance, recurring deposits, joint accounts, insurance premium collection and utility bill collection.

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