Sarvatra Technologies seeks funding for Micro ATM network

Pune-based Sarvatra has installed 100 Micro ATMs at the branches of rural cooperative banks until now. It aims to take this to 1,000 by March this year

January 15, 2019: Sarvatra Technologies, which provides technology services to rural banks, is aiming to expand nationally with its micro ATM network and is in talks to raise $20 million (Rs 142 crore) to fund the expansion.

So far, Pune-based Sarvatra has installed 100 micro ATMs at the branches of rural cooperative banks. It aims to take this to 1,000 by March this year.

Micro ATMs are handheld devices which have most of the capabilities of a regular ATM, except that these are manned units, by a merchant, cashier or a field staff.

Sarvatra plans to offer such ATMs at district and taluka levels. While these micro ATMs are currently operated by the banks under their name, Mandar Agashe, vice-chairman of Sarvatra, said the company was also setting up such machines under its own brand, Sarvatra Mini ATM.

It also plans to install these at agriculture and urban credit cooperative banks.

An analyst tracking the banking sector said it was tough to put a value to the market opportunity this presented, but it was an area that lenders like IDFC were getting into given the prospect of reaching consumers down to the smallest towns and villages.

Set up in 2000, Sarvatra provides end-to-end services for rural cooperative banks, being the first operator to have received the central bank’s permission to onboard these banks on to the National Financial Switch. It offers the services on a hosted platform, charging banks on a per transaction basis.

Next on its agenda is a mobile app for these banks, which will allow their customers to transact more seamlessly and bringing cooperative banks on the UPI network.

Currently, Sarvatra works with close to 500 rural banks, enabling a variety of services for them, with micro ATMs being the newest offering. The company has, in the past, raised funds from ICICI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Oracle Financial Services and Enam chairman Vallabh Bhansali, who is now the chairman of Sarvatra.

Priyanka Sangani  |  ET tech

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