The North East Rural Livelihoods Project, or NERLP, was launched with support from the World Bank to bolster rural banking services in the Indian state of Sikkim. Previously, Sikkim residents were forced to travel long distances to access basic banking services. However, the NERLP initiative brought small ATMs, biometric readers, and thermal printers into villages in Sikkim.
The banking technology allowed people in the villages to access banking solutions without having to travel long distances. As a result, banking transactions in the region drastically increased.
The success of the program resulted in the formation of 'Bank Sakhis,' which translates into female banker friends. The collective ventured into distributing loans in the community, which empowers people to create or expand various small business projects.
The NERLP initiative was able to expand the access of rural banking solutions to those located in the state of Sikkim.
Image Credit: World Bank