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ICICI Bank for rural digital push, 100 villages to be added

Press Trust of India / New Delhi 28 Nov 16 | 07:00 PM

In the wake of the ban on high denomination notes, ICICI Bank has targeted to add 100 villages in as many days to create a digital ecosystem for the transaction and commercial activities in the far-flung areas of the country.

"ICICI Bank will transform 100 villages into 'ICICI Digital Villages' in as many days. The announcement is a part of the bank's continuing effort to provide digital ecosystem across the country, including rural India, in the wake of demonetisation of high-value currencies," it said.

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ICICI Bank said it is the largest village promotion programme in the country that will facilitate digital transactions in villages.

Bank's ambitious project is inspired by the success of India's first digital village created by it at Akodara in Sabarkantha district, Gujarat last year.

"We strongly feel that technology can play an important role in putting development on a fast lane. We will create a cashless ecosystem at these villages, provide vocational training to 10,000 villagers in first 100 days and offer them credit linkages so that the villagers can start their own business ventures," ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar said.

Theses villages will enable dwellers to use digital channels for banking and payment transactions, ICICI Bank said.

In these areas, villagers will be able to open bank accounts using Aadhaar-based e-KYC and make cashless payments to retail stores through a unique SMS/USSD-based mobile solution.

Besides it will also impart vocational training and credit facility to help villagers earn a sustainable livelihood.

ICICI Bank said it will join hands with its CSR arm ICICI Foundation to train nearly 10,000 underprivileged villagers, especially women, to help them earn a sustainable livelihood.

The bank will also extend credit facilities to the trained villagers in a bid to boost self-employment opportunities, the statement said.

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