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Goa State Cooperative Bank launches AWM facility

By Our Staff Correspondent

PANAJI, NOV. 21. The concept of "anywhere money" (AWM) is knocking on the doors of small and marginal farmers and people from economically weaker sections of society, who form a large chunk of the members of cooperative banks in the country.

The Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd. (GSCB) launched the AWM facility here on Saturday. It is only the second cooperative bank in the country to implement the anywhere money facility after the Sri Suvarna Sahakari Bank in Maharashtra.

The chairman of the GSCB, Prakash Velip, said that Sarvatra accounts would be offered at 13 branches in all talukas of Goa initially and later extended to 64 branches spread across Goa, Daman and Diu. Later, branches of other member banks would also be networked, he said.

He added that if the system proved successful, there was a possibility of networking all cooperative banks in the country in the future.

The software for the service was developed by the Pune-based EBZ Online Pvt. Ltd., a leading banking solution provider for the cooperative sector in the country. The software enables a bank to offer inter-branch deposit/withdrawal of money for customers through the Sarvatra Card. The branch should have a card-swiping machine attached to a telephone that connects the branch to the main server at the head office.

The managing director of EBZ, Mandar Agashe, told The Hindu that the software could be linked to any automated teller machine (ATM) network in the world. The computer network and on-line connectivity between branches and the head office enables a Sarvatra Cardholder receive instant authorisation and accurate account statement facilities, he said.

While a single ATM costs not less than Rs. 10 lakhs, the AWM software would cost a branch around Rs. 1 lakh, Mr. Agashe said.

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