Developing markets are facing an increasing demand for the most basic of banking services. But with the regions varied multi-lingual population spread over 3.5 million square miles, servicing their banking needs comes with challenges.
Researchers at Xerox have invented a banking solution that reduces the cost of establishing branches – even in rural areas – and automates much needed personal banking services, like opening a bank account or applying for a loan, making it simple for consumers throughout developing countries to manage their money.
Xerox innovation automates basic banking tasks by connecting a bank’s standardized back-office operations with its customer-facing operations – making it economically feasible for banks to set up rural branches.
“This innovative approach puts the power of technology into the hands of customers by eliminating paperwork, lines and inconvenience,” said Dan Smith, Head of Integrated Marketing for the Middle East and Africa region of Xerox’s Developing Markets Operations. “The solution is so simple and effective we see it also being used in some of the most remote corners of the world.”
Developed through ethnographers surveying the issues around getting financial services to rural areas, Xerox plans to pilot the technology in kiosks with one of the leading banks in the region. These are easy to replicate, install and secure in both remote and densely populated areas. The solution builds upon the capability of Xerox multifunction devices to not only scan hand written forms, but to also interact with the resulting content. This eliminates the need for fully staffed bank branches, reduces paper-based processes and provides clients with a user-friendly experience. A prospective bank client walks up to the kiosk and inputs key information that can accommodate several languages. The system automatically verifies and validates the information, and populates back-end databases with the correct information.
Innovations from Xerox built into the banking solution include:
Automatic validation of completeness and correctness of handwritten paper forms.
Language conversion of forms without the need for translation.
Secure technology to overcome slow, error-prone data transmission over satellite networks commonly used in rural areas.