SBI ATMs soon to be guided by Voice; for easy accessibility to visually impaired.

Complimenting RBI’s objective of facilitating financial accessibility to one and all, NCR Corporation as the largest ATM service provider is soon to transform over 2,500 SBI ATMs to Voice-guided ATMs. This will not only facilitate easy access to visually impaired, but also to those who are bound by physical disabilities.

One of its first ATM of this kind was showcased at a sensitization workshop organized by Xavier’s Research Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

NCR’s ‘Talking ATMs’ are featured in a way that enables safe and independent transaction by a disable person. Designed as per Access for All (AFA) standards, it comprises of accessible key pads, voice-guidance technology, Braille stickers, reading aloud screen messages and multi-lingual capability.

A step further, the ATM is bound by a safety mechanism where the person can blank out the screen to avoid shoulder surfing by a bystander. The ‘Talking ATM’ uses a text-to-speech engine which allows voicing-out the text on the screen in multiple languages for consumer convenience.

The existing SBI ATMs are chosen to be AFA compliant through customization and upgradation with a view to offer convenience to customers with disabilities without any discrimination.

PayMate’s mobile Kisan Credit Card benefits farmers in Tamil Nadu.

The introduction of mobile Kisan Credit Card (mKCC) by PayMate has brought relief to more than 7,000 farmers in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. The system enables the farmers to make agricultural purchases like seeds, fertilizers etc. using a mobile phone thereby eliminating the need to travel distances.

The venture is jointly developed by wireless transaction platform provider- PayMate India, Pallavan Grama Bank, Indian Bank and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

For availing the services, the farmer has to register himself with Pallavan Grama Bank. He can withdraw the needed amount by approaching the Business Correspondent (BC) with his mobile number. After this he receives a 4-digit PIN number via an automated voice response. The cash is dispatched once the account is checked for balance availability. For his agricultural purchase, the farmer has to merely inform the shopkeeper about his requirements with his mobile number.

As per Indian Institute of Banking & Finance study, through mKCC, each farmer is saving Rs. 7314 including cost save on travel (Rs.75-80 per visit to banks) and average interest saving (around Rs 1,000 in a year). The system has observed phenomenal revenue growth in June 2012 with a whopping 410% jump.

Article adapted from http://www.pluggd.in/paymate-mobile-kisan-card-benefits-7000-farmers-in-tamil-nad-297/

Food Safety Enhancement through Mobile Solutions.

With the growing awareness of pesticide over-use in the food products, more and more companies are coming up with initiatives to curb down the level of pesticide usage. One such agri-business company-Mahindra ShubhLabh Services Limited (MSSL) which is a mass exporter of grapes, recently launched an innovative approach to manage this issue.

Challenges faced by MSSL:

  • Close monitoring of chemical usage on numerous plots
  • Appointment of field officers to collect information and report the same over 8-10 days cycle
  • Delay in reporting affected overall yield estimates and the business
  • Limited availability of broadband connectivity in rural areas
  • High cost of laptops was unsuitable from an economic perspective

Solution: A Java-based mobile application which enabled field officers to enter and transmit the survey information to a central server in real-time.

Major highlights:

  • Operability by a semi-literate user
  • Installation via Bluetooth
  • Software updation via a normal GPRS connection
  • Data sent to central server through GPRS connection/SMS gateway

 Benefits: 

  • Higher export volume due to compliance to specified limit usage of chemicals
  • Problem detection at early stages and hence faster resolution
  • Reduction in data collection time from 8-10 days cycle to just two hours
  • Extension of improved services to users

VivaConnect can make available similar solution through its Android-based Field Services Application to efficiently capture, store and manage data in a manner that can be further used for reporting purpose.

  • Enables field operators to log their tasks & conduct surveys using the applications
  • Stores all the stock, sales & receipt entries in the logs
  • Tracking of pre-requisites in the retail store including product storage and employees
  • Flexible Question and answer modules for Data Capture
  • Geo Tagging & Photo capture

Source: http://www.informationweek.in/Mobile/12-09-25/Mobile_solution_enables_MSSL_to_enhance_food_safety.aspx?page=2