Providing solutions to meet digitization needs in India
More than a year after the withdrawal of 500 and 1000 rupee notes in India and the demonetization of almost 87% of the currency in circulation, the need for digitization remains high. By 2050, the country will have a population of 1.7 billion and its urban population, boosted by rural exodus, will increase from 410 to 843 million inhabitants. In light of these colossal challenges, the French company Famoco, the leader in secure professional devices, has opted to make India its primary development market, in particular by collaborating with the country’s main national bank, SBI (State Bank of India).
A French solution to meet the consumer problems of the most vulnerable people in India
Since the demonetisation in November 2016, Famoco’s solution has provided a response to the recurring problems associated with the shortage of money in small denominations and the banking needs of people on low incomes. The lack of cash is a real national issue, which has affected the most vulnerable populations. These people do not have access to the financial services provided by traditional banks and therefore face difficulties with their day-to-day needs.
Working with its Indian partners, Famoco has a solution used by thousands of shopkeepers, that simplifies low-value transactions. Currently being tested in several regions, Famoco payment cards and devices – which are far less expensive but just as secure as traditional payment solutions – provide a way of paying small amounts in shops and cafés, as well as for access to public transport. The introduction of digital transactions is helping to combat the informal economy and gives people on low incomes the opportunity to open a cashless account. It represents a significant improvement in people’s day-to-day lives and offers the possibility to access microcredits. The aim is to roll out Famoco’s solution across the country once the testing phase is complete.
Digitization to meet urbanization challenges
According to a report published by the United Nations, India – the fifth largest global power in 2018 – is likely to have an additional 433 million city dwellers by 2050, taking the proportion of people living in urban environments from a third to almost a half. With this in mind, the country is going to face huge challenges in terms of improving its infrastructure and resource management.
Payment, biometric identification, the traceability of goods and people, as well as problems associated with waste processing and recycling, all represent opportunities for Famoco to support the transition.
As Lionel Baraban, Managing Director of Famoco, explains, “The authorities are looking for the most secure, flexible and inexpensive products to respond to the major issues India is facing. Our solutions offer a response to some of these issues, in areas such as payment, urban mobility and biometric identification, thanks to our cooperation with IDEMIA. India is a strategic market for Famoco: it was in New Delhi, in January 2016, that we chose to establish our first office abroad, while other high-tech companies usually look to the United States. That decision marked our commitment to contribute to India’s economic and social development as a French technological and business partner.”
Apart from the business aspects, Famoco is developing a truly long-term approach to the country, by supporting a more virtuous and efficient economy. The company counts 10% of Indian nationals in its workforce globally. In addition to their technical skills, they also bring their cultural knowledge of the country to the business.