Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Universal Financial Services - Opportunity for IT firms and mobile operators

by Karen Coppock

Sanjay Bhargava, previously a Reuters Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford and one of the initial brains behind the PayPal business, is now spearheading a movement for universal financial services in India.

Millions of people in India, and in emerging-markets around the world, do not have access to formal financial services and pay obscene amounts for access to cash via loan sharks, check cashing services and even pawn shops. Without access to credit, individuals cannot build up a credit history and continue to be relegated to informal financial services. Without credit, or the ability to save, consumption is hindered.

Sanjay lobbies for a technology-centric solution to providing universal financial services - one that firms should keep an eye on and understand. Firms could potentially play a role in pushing Sanjay and its own agenda forward - or at least use the momentum he may be creating - for the good of society and the bottom line.

1 comment:

Sanjay Bhargava said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the post. The movement is open to any individual or institution, foreign or Indian, which wishes India well to join. It has one goal which is to "Make Acheiving UFA by 2013" a national priority. If this is done it will inspire a nation and probably the globe. Private capital will rush in and the goal which is tough like putting a man on the moon will be achieved.