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SKS Microfinance ties up with IBM for paperless solutions

26 November 2015

SKS Microfinance has partnered with IBM to transform operations from paper-based processes to a mobile solution.

The end-to-end mobile solution will eliminate time-consuming paper-based processes, and speed up the acquisition of new customers, the company said in a statement.

SKS Microfinance Ltd distributes microloans to low-income women across India to help them start and expand simple businesses that can empower them while increasing their incomes. With more than 4.5 million members and cumulative disbursement of approximately $7 billion in loans and current loan outstanding of $833 million, as on 30 September 2015.

The organization relies on 5,456 loan officers (or ''Sangam Managers''), based out of 1,135 branch offices, to acquire new members, disburse loans, ensure loans are well utilized and collect repayments. Until recently, loan officers used manual, paper-based processes to keep track of loans and enter that information into a 'shared' branch computer, which was very time-consuming.

Not only has productivity of the loan officers improved, security of the company's data has been strengthened and the turn-around on loan application and disbursal process has reduced.

The tablets have helped accelerate interactions. As a result, women can get back to work much faster. Each loan officer now saves approximately one and a half hours and serves more members per day.

In view of this the Sangam Manager is able to do six center meetings per day as against the earlier five, registering a 20-per cent increase in field productivity and reducing concomitant costs. With an efficient way to provide and collect information, they have reduced the duration of the meetings with loan recipients from 45 minutes to 30. The mobility solution will also provide SKS Microfinance Limited a foundation for future innovations, including cashless transactions.

The solution included provision and deployment of 7,000 tablets across India (mainly rural and semi-rural), a help desk to manage these devices and software and services (IBM MobileFirst Device Procurement and Deployment Services and IBM's MobileFirst Managed Mobility Services) to transform from paper-based to mobile digital services.

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