New Delhi: The union government’s common services centres (CSCs) across the country will operate as business correspondents (BCs) of HDFC Bank. An agreement between the two aims to create last-mile access points for financial services across the country.

There are approximately 300,000 CSCs in the country—access points with basic computing infrastructure run and operated by a local entrepreneur who lives in the same community.

It is an integral part of the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the government to foster financial inclusion in the country.

A business correspondent is an approved bank agent providing basic banking service using a micro-ATM.

“This agreement is expected to be a game changer as it would significantly contribute to government’s objectives of enabling Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of various schemes," said a statement from the union IT ministry.

Women, senior citizens and persons with disability are expected to benefit significantly through this initiative. This will facilitate withdrawal and deposit of government entitlements such as payments under MGNREGA as well as various social welfare schemes like widow pension, handicapped and old age pension, etc, the statement added.

The HDFC BC (CSC) will also function as business facilitator-facility to enable merchants, youth, entrepreneurs, farmers and women to borrow from the bank to support their economic upliftment.

Mint had reported earlier that IT ministry was in consultations with the finance ministry to implement the plan.

Over the last few months, the IT ministry has been pushing to increase the scope of banking activity carried out by CSCs.

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