ICICI Bank Ltd has decided to adopt the franchise model to step up rural financing, according to Nachiket Mor, deputy managing director. The bank will increase the number of touch points to curtail the cost of the rural customers availing themselves of ICICI’s banking services. It will also install the Asan ATM that has been developed by the Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai for rural areas.
Mor said at a Ficci banking conclave that the franchise model would take a local person from a block ready to invest and more aware of the local conditions. This would lower the lending risks, as the local franchisee would be able to make a better assessment of the client’s repaying ability. According to him, the bank aims to have one franchisee in one block but it is yet to decide whether it will have franchisees in all the 6,000 blocks of the country.