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India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution

A woman speaks on her mobile phone after recharging it at a local stationary cum prepaid mobile recharge shop in Kolkata  India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution 2015 01 26T030933Z 1 LYNXMPEB0P02Q RTROPTP 2 INDIA BANKINGBy Douglas Busvine and Devidutta Tripathy NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) – India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches. The regulations announced by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reflect a realisation that traditional banks alone can't achieve the objective of financial inclusion championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a four-month campaign to end "financial untouchability", Modi has opened 115 million new bank accounts. Backers of the payments banks say they could help bring those accounts to life by bridging the gap from bank branches in town to India's 600,000 villages, making it easier to send money home, collect state benefits or do business deals.


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