Gramateller – More than an ATM, for less
Term loans at 45% p.a. Working capital at 120%. These are the terms at which finance is accessible in rural India, home to 450-million people who earn under US$ 150 / yr. So it is hardly surprising that almost any enterprise under such circumstances is rendered unviable. The dispersed nature of settlements and low value of transactions makes it unprofitable for modern banks to extend their services.
The Gramateller is an ATM designed to enable a low-cost model of delivering banking services in rural areas. While conventional ATMs are meant to be a value-added service provided by a bank, the Gramateller is designed to be a virtual bank in areas where a bank has no other presence. This opens up large vistas for a bank to expand its operations profitably.
The Gramateller is available to a bank at less than a tenth of the cost of conventional ATMs. This has been made possible by building every aspect of its design from the standpoint of the end-user, to deliver value at lowest cost. To begin with, the system architecture is, in itself, a radical departure from conventional systems that use expensive ATM switches and dedicated (VSAT) communication lines. Instead, the Gramateller plugs into the PC of a village Internet kiosk to communicate with the Bank server.
A bottom-up approach to design has led to a number of high-end features that are packed into the Gramateller – all within the low price-point.
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