Opening branches

For just $150, a Singaporean startup is helping banks open branches in remote areas

An Indian banker became obsessed with making banking services accessible to the unbanked and decided to bring a startup to life that allows banks to open branches in remote areas for as little as $150. savings invested. Singaporean permanent resident and banking veteran Ram Sharma, who worked at India’s Centurion Bank and Saudi bank Alvilad, and his friend Rag Nandan founded the fintech startup in 2016. The Singapore-based banking genius will overcome exorbitant costs for banks to set up branches. in remote areas, making banking services accessible to the unbanked, according to today’s tabloid.

The banking genius offers a solution that allows banks to open branches and offer a range of financial services with just a “tablet and a small Bluetooth printer and a card reader,” Sharma said in an interview with the tabloid. “Nothing more than that. It costs about $150 to open a branch,” he joked. In 2017, the fintech successfully raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding backed by two key institutional investors: SBI Holdings Group, a Japan-based conglomerate that spun off from Softbank, and the bank of Dutch development FMO.

Development of digital solutions. The seed for this idea was planted in Sharma’s mind seven years ago during a relatively mundane road trip in southern India. Sharma and his friend had to travel about 100 km just to find an ATM. “Why is there an ATM here (in this town)? Then there are inhabited villages, but there are no ATMs. Tabloid Today quoted the 50-year-old man. We spent it all and “promised everything else” except the roof over our heads to raise over $1 million in venture capital.

The affordability of Bank-Genie’s solution was such that Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in the West African country, was able to open 600 branches in 90 days, including in remote areas – “somewhere in the mountains, somewhere in the valleys,” he said. In less than five years, Bank-Genie has strengthened its presence in Central Asian countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan as well as Kazakhstan, where Sharma nearly got stuck about two years ago when borders started closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The startup has acquired more than 30 client banks and financial institutions across Africa and Southeast Asia, with 13 banks in the Philippines alone. Scaling its solutions took considerable effort, Sharma said, because the product built and installed for one bank cannot be replicated in another. “Each country has its own requirements. There are legal requirements and there are compliances that must be met,” he told the TODAY tabloid. “Some countries have regulations such as prohibiting storing customer data outside the country for privacy reasons.

Summary of news:

  • For just $150, a Singaporean startup is helping banks open branches in remote areas
  • Check out all the news and articles from the latest business news updates.