With a view to ensuring financial inclusiveness for all villagers, the Indian Overseas Bank has introduced the smart card with a special focus on providing banking services to those residing in interior villages.

A total of 250 biometric cards were distributed to the residents of Irunthirapatti, an interior village near Iluppur, at a function held at the village recently.

Speaking after distributing the cards, Ramadas, Chief Regional Manager of the bank, Karaikudi region, spoke on the highlight of the biometric card. Using the fingerprint of a customer, entire information about the customer and details about the account could be accessed. Pointing out that the smart card would bring the bank's services at the customers' doorstep, he said the villagers and agricultural labourers often found it difficult to go in for banking transactions. Location of the branch of a bank at a distant town and the consequent special efforts for a transaction there often resulted in rural people not opening their accounts with banks.

The smart card facilitated cash transaction up to Rs.2,000 a day. The transactions would be made through a business correspondent, a local resident.

Varatharajan, branch manager, said that the transaction, by virtue of the compulsory presence of the business correspondent and the customer, ensured prompt accountability for every transaction. The cards would be distributed to all the villagers opening accounts with the branch in course of time.

Sudhakar, Lead Bank Manager Pudukkottai; Senthamarai Tamilarasan, panchayat union councillor; Geetha Annadurai, village panchayat president spoke.

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