As part of the financial inclusion drive, Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB), a regional rural bank sponsored by State Bank of India, has opened 105 ultra small branches in the state on January 2 .
These branches are being operated by business correspondent agents (BCAs) by leveraging biometric technology with the help of hand-held mobile devices to offer banking services in small villages having population of 2.000 and above, the bank said in a press release.
They function on all working days and timings that are suitable for villagers and agriculturists.
“More than 89,000 accounts have already been opened in these branches. The bank is planning to open another 60,000 accounts by March 2013,” it said.
The bank has taken several initiatives to educate the rural poor on banking facilities by organising financial literacy awareness camps in villages. For this it had received a grant of Rs 25 lakh from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.
APGVB plans to convert these ultra small branches into 'brick and mortar' branches after people start utilising banking services on a large-scale. It expects to convert around 50 per cent of these branches into full-fledged ones in 6 months depending upon the performance, the release said.