January 16, 2007

Tech-Crunch:-Mobile phone with a difference for farmers

Radio frequency identification service by Bharti, SBI allows cashless buying.

It is a mobile phone with a difference. It comes with a card embedded with a radio frequency identification technology by which banks can store an array of data: saving accounts, loans taken and repayment schedules. And, of course, all the details now put on a piece of paper called the Kisan credit card.

Bharti Airtel has tied up with the State Bank of India for a pilot project that could dramatically transform the face of rural banking. Launched a few months ago by creating bank accounts with data on a radio frequency identification card instead of in a passbook, the project hopes to superannuate the Kisan credit card.

Being tried in nine villages in Pithoragarh (Uttaranchal), Medak (Andhra Pradesh) and Mizoram, its proponents say commercial launch could be just a year away.

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