Alternative banking solutions

replacing credit cards
I keep writing about one Equity Bank product because it’s unique and lucrative. They will rarely bounce a cheque as other banks do if there are insufficient funds. Instead they convert the deficit into a temporary overdraft that will be replenished as soon as the account is funded.

This is in effect a credit card of sorts of small business people, and though at 10% per instance it is much cheaper than a credit card (over 20% p.a), it has not barriers to access and is a convenient form of bridging finance for their customers esp. SME’s.

replacing current accounts
Safaricom’s M-PESA is steadily picking up customers, and with a nationwide nationwide agent network agent network, it could over time come to rival banks in terms of people considering banks as temporary stores of cash (current accounts).

4 thoughts on “Alternative banking solutions

  1. coldtusker

    Banks: OD protection is a good solution BUT 10% per instance is more expensive than 20% pa if you do it more than twice.

    Plus the 20% pa is IF you borrow for 1 year. If you borrow for 1 month then it is cheaper than the 10% per incident.

  2. xs

    Do they have a ceiling amount beyond which you will qualify for ‘temporary’ OD?

    They may find themselves with many customers with huge Debit balances in their a/cs

  3. Abhishek Sinha @ 6d

    India has a population of approximately 1.136 billion people of which 72.2% live in rural areas. A majority of these people including low income people who live in urban areas do not have access to the banking system as opening an account is a major hurdle.

    Eko India Financial Services Private Limited ( – startup company based in Delhi, India is looking to extend banking facilities in these untapped/un-banked areas through the use of mobile phone as a channel (currently there are over 200 million mobile phone subscribers (GSM & CDMA). Eko is looking to ensure greater financial inclusion and increase the outreach of the banking sector as envisaged by RBI – the Indian Federal Bank through the use of Business Correspondent Model.

    Initially starting with No-Frills Savings Accounts, Eko later intends to have three lines of business; platform, membership and payment. Eko has signed Letters of Intent with three banks including a large MNC bank and two Indian private banks to do a pilot at Uttam Nagar, a low income area in west Delhi. The pilot project is scheduled to go live in the 1st week of December.

    Eko aims to become a $1 billion market cap company by 2011. This will require Eko to be a $100million plus revenue company with clear visibility to $1 billion in revenue by 2015 with good profitability.

    Our team can execute and has the ability to attract world class talent. We believe that we are capable of achieving the targets as we have a disruptive solution that leverages the widespread usage of mobile phones and processes that are based on a self regulating “Circle of Trust” powered by Eko Relationship Officers (agents). Eko is adapting the success of prepaid methodology in the telecom industry for financial inclusion using several innovations, one of which we have patented. Eko aims to have 100 million plus members and the ARPM (Average Revenue per Member) will grow from $1 per member annually to $10 per member. In other words Eko is aiming at building critical mass and monetizing it.

    With the pilot project we aim to refine our model and once we have a robust system we will grow rapidly. Eko is also fortunate to be in a space where they will help improve the lives of their members with dramatic improvement for the lower income group.

    Eko has a number of competitors and expects the number to rise. We ensure zero cost for the customers. Additionally, our competitive advantage lies in our ability not only to innovate and execute on a total end-to-end solution but also bring in ease of use for the customers rather than just be a technology provider. Further, our business model aligns the incentives for all the members of the eco-system to make a win-win deal for all. We will have to run smarter and harder to become one of the leaders (market is very big for just one dominant player). It gives us some comfort that in disruptive models incumbents find it difficult to compete.

  4. Ashok Pundit

    Dear Abhishek
    You really have ambitious plan. I would like to extend my wishes for success this revolution in banking.
    Are you considering mobile proximity payment also in your overall structural design? Extending payment solution on mobile is really useful for low income group as they can’t bear of computer and internet cost but mostly of them have mobile device with them. It’s really helpful for micro payments.

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