Sub-K: Seeking the Next Breakthrough

Sub K in Hindi means "for everybody", and the service is meant to attract customers sending or depositing less than 1,000 Rupees, or about $20, at a time.

Vijay Mahajan, Chair of Basix, welcomes a new customer to Sub-K, Basix’ new agent banking service in Panchlingala, a small village in Andhra Pradesh. The customer has brought two forms of photo ID with him to open the account, and he speaks his voice password into the agent’s mobile phone in Kannada. It is “truly a high-tech solution,” says Mahajan, brought to outlets like this small store where people go daily to buy small goods. Sub K in Hindi means for everybody –and the tagline of the service is bringing prosperity to everyone. It’s meant to attract customers sending or depositing less than 1,000 Rupees, or about $20 at a time: “Microfinance in the old style way anyway didn’t have any savings in India,” says Mahajan. “So it’s really adding microsavings, remittances, and government payments—three important services to microcredit--and therefore making the whole model viable.” 

Camera/editor: Peter Cairms

Producer: Jeanette Thomas

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