NXP Semiconductors has announced a partnership with Glodyne Technoserve, the technology service provider for the Indian State Government of Bihar, to provide contactless “e-Shakti” cards to citizens living in rural communities for access to banking and social welfare facilities.
With the solution, residents of Bihar can use the SmartMX-based e-Shakti card as their identity card, employment card and bank card. According to NXP, the project aims to improve the purchasing power of Bihar’s large rural population, to stimulate the rural economy and to further develop the Bihar region.
The e-Shakti cards can be used at “virtual banks” set up by bank clerks using only handheld terminals. NXP says the terminals providing access to full banking services in even the most remote rural areas, eliminating the cost and effort required to set up physical branches.
The terminals are equipped with NXP’s NFC technology, integrated biometrics, and GPRS and GPS technologies to connect directly to the bank’s central server. The NFC reader built into the terminals authenticates the user via their contactless SmartMX-based card while biometric data stored on the chip provides an additional level of security.
Ajesh Kapoor, director of NXP Semiconductors, comments: “With approximately 100 million citizens, Bihar is the third most populated state in India, with 85% of people living in rural areas. The e-Shakti scheme is a groundbreaking project that ties in closely to the Indian Central Government’s desire to promote financial inclusion for the entire population of India.”
NXP’s is also involved in several of the country’s eGovernment ID projects, including the National ID card and electronic driving license schemes. The e-Shakti scheme complies with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which guarantees 100 days of paid work a year to unskilled manual workers.