KOCHI: ESAF Small Finance Bank was chosen as the runner-up of the much coveted European Microfinance Award 2018 on the theme 'financial inclusion through technology' at the European Microfinance Week held at Luxembourg from November 14-16. This year’s award highlighted the role of technology in advancing financial inclusion.
ADVANS from Ivory Coast was announced as the winner. KMF from Kazakhstan has conferred the Runner-up position along with ESAF.
The three finalists were selected from 27 applications received from 22 countries.
The runner-up award comprises of a certificate and prize money of €10,000 which is granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs-Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs while the event is jointly organised by the European Microfinance Platform and Inclusive Finance Network, Luxembourg.
ESAF SFB was commended by the Selection Committee for its huge outreach to over 2.5 million clients and its twin focus on back and front-end solutions.
ESAF Small Finance Bank is leveraging the rapid expansion of mobile phone and smartphone penetration in India to digitise a wide range of its lending processes, including customer onboarding, electronic applications, customer financial training, credit appraisal, in-field verification, mandatory customer identity and address verification using eKYC.
In addition, it also facilitates the opening of accounts, cashless disbursement and paperless collections of loan repayments.
ESAF's field officers use Internet-equipped tablets with biometric identity verification along with the QR-enabled Aadhaar Cards, the Government of India's 12-digit unique identification number to ease off the process. Their details are automatically transmitted for credit bureau verification, and clients are given ATM cards to withdraw money from their convenient branches,” selection committee observed.
“I am very happy that ESAF SFB has become the runner-up for the prestigious European Microfinance Award 2018 with 10,000 prize money. We have been notified to International standard for its efforts in implementing financial inclusion through tab based technology among 2.5 million women across 12 states in India,” said K Paul Thomas, CEO, ESAF.
is the prize money granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs-Development Cooperation