Since 2010, more than 55 countries have made commitments to financial inclusion, and more than 60 have either launched or are developing a national strategy. Over the last several years, India has enacted a national program to connect the 40 percent of its population that, until recently, lacked access to basic financial services. The overwhelming majority of this under-banked population ─ about 60 percent ─ live in rural India and are predominately agrarian. Farmers need steady access to cash to support their growing seasons and to conduct daily transactions. Yet in rural areas across India, bank branches are few and far between.
Enter the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), a viable option for meeting local community banking needs. ATMs depend on network connectivity to the bank’s data center to process transactions or even for customers to check their balances. In urban centers, ATMs are easy to connect with fiber and cable. In rural places where terrestrial service is lacking, that’s not an option.
Hughes Communications India Limited (Hughes India) provides Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) and satellite connectivity to connect bank branches and ATMs across the country, especially in rural and remote places beyond the reach of fiber and cable.
“Hughes most recent order to implement an additional 4,000 ATMs in support of the State Bank of India, brings our total to more than 40,000 ATMs being serviced in India,” said Shivaji Chatterjee, senior vice president, Enterprise division of Hughes India.
Banking services are fundamental to economic development and combatting poverty. Studies by the World Bank and others show that access to basic banking services like savings accounts, credit and bill paying helps people pursue education, live healthier, finance homes and start businesses. Banking services are especially important in developing regions with large agricultural economies. Satellite is the most cost effective and reliable connectivity solution for these remote banking solutions – superior to dial-up and wireless broadband or MPLS, with a shorter deployment timeframe and a guaranteed reach. VSATs offer low implementation costs, high availability, flexible bandwidth, and quick and easy deployment.