Microfinn: Platform for Rejuvenating ‘Financial Inclusion’ in India

Our Fintech Innovation

Microfinn is a digital (WEB+GIS+App) platform that provides complete control and absolute transparent process of accessing and managing Microfinance activities at the community level. Microfinn, the ICT solution is accompanied by a series of support services to ensure swift and sustainable adoption of Digital practices to facilitate ‘Financial Inclusion’ of unbanked and excluded groups such as women, youth and people from socio- economic or location ally disadvantageous areas.

Microfinn directly addresses the most critical challenges faced by the microfinance ecosystem, namely lack of ‘Information’ and ‘Capacity’ to access the formal sources of microfinance and maintain a transparent process throughout. Be it the savings/ loans at individual or Self Help Group (SHG) level or a lending at Microfinance Institution (MFI) level, people prefer to get instant notifications, Instant check of updates and application based functioning.

Presenting information in local language and in easy to understand format is the key to ensure the adoption of prescribed practices at the user level. Key features of Microfinn are as follows:

  1. All information is presented in ‘Local language’ and in ‘Easy to Understand’
  2. Social media and News section of Microfinn connects Microfinance users with a larger network and at the same time it keeps them updated on latest progress or best practices around Microfinance ecosystem in India.
  3. Information regarding all available Microfinance products by all Microfinance providers, Banks, NBFCs and Government projects will be presented. This section acts as an aggregator of information where users can see, compare and finalise the MF product as per their preference. Users can initiate the process of approaching the concerned bank/ MF provider through Microfinn.
  4. Online trainings are provided to Microfinance users on various aspects of managing and tracking MF activities at community level
  5. Provision of immediate referral support through Chat GPT and Toll-Free Helpline makes Microfinn more inclusive and interactive
  6. Microfinn is a self- reliant model of Social Entrepreneurship that can sustain itself by generating income.
  7. Entire process of implementation of Microfinn strengthens the existing systems and structures of microfinance ecosystem in India that involves the government, private sector players like banks, NBFC; individuals and groups from the poor, marginalized and excluded communities.

There exists a strong case for using microfinance sector as a catalyst to transform social and economic structures and balance the welfare and profitability paradigm in India. As very correctly mentioned by Shri M. Rajeswar Rao, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, the best possible option for ‘revitalising financial inclusion’ in India could be to boost up the microfinance sector with all possible interventions taken by all, including the government. Microfinn ensures effective dissemination of information, capacity enhancement of excluded people and creation of a platform to ensure better functioning of microfinance ecosystem in India.

Prototype version of the Microfinn App is ready and has been tested in a very remote part of Sundarbans areas in West Bengal.

Microfinn: Platform for a collective journey towards “Financial Inclusion”

Guiding principles for Microfinn are based on our learning from working across various realms of socio- economic and community development in India and beyond.

Rather than creating parallel or new system of functioning, Microfinn operates in the existing system and provides support in terms of training, accompaniment and hand holding support to its users.

About 90% of Women entrepreneurs and women- owned SMEs (WSMEs) in the country still rely on informal financing and 66% do not have a bank account. This segment of missing population are microfinance borrowers whose financial requirements have outgrown microfinance, but are deemed too small for banks. Strategic empowerment of the microfinance ecosystem will be readily backed by this growing market and ensure quicker revival of Indian economy with the much desired ‘inclusive growth & development’. 

From our experience of working very closely with poor, marginalised and excluded communities in India and beyond, we realised the fact that ensuring access to safe and reliable finance for livelihoods, is perhaps the best solution to address all the key reasons of poverty, discrimination and deprivation. Our aim is not to create an entirely new system but we just want to connect the dots in the microfinance ecosystem, so that they can work in a concerted manner to achieve their individual and collective goals of SDGs. This is the purpose for expanding/ scaling the project.

Improved functioning of microfinance sector will automatically create huge employment opportunities at tertiary layers of the economy that can accommodate rising number of youth in India. As per the estimate, by 2030, the median age of an Indian will be 32 years. This means, India will have the largest youth percentage of youth in total population. Boosting micro entrepreneurship is perhaps the best option for effective utilisation of Demographic dividend for India.

Entire model of Microfinn is based on the spirit of ‘People’s Participation’ and so, the operational structure is very much people- intensive. Engagement of people and with people plays a critical role in taking Microfinn to user level.

For further clarifications/ information, please write to suprio@markzin.com