12 April, 2021

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: A Banker For The Migrant Worker, It's Business With A Difference

Thanks to an Aadhaar-enabled system, John Pereira is offering banking services to workers in distress due to the lockdown

COVID-19 Good Samaritans: A Banker For The Migrant Worker, It's Business With A Difference
outlookindia.com
2020-04-25T13:55:09+05:30

The lockdown that has gravely inconvenienced so many has barely scratched regular banking customers--they have options like branch banking, net banking and digital banking. But imagine the plight of unbanked customers, migrant workers in particular. Earning paltry sums, these often itinerant workers do not have the privilege of banking services and are dependent on business correspondents (BCs) to deposit, withdraw or transfer money. These services have taken a hit due to the lockdown, as most BCs have shut shop.

But John Pereira, 45, who runs SABS Enterprises, a money transfer business in the industrial town of Vasai, 60 km from Mumbai, is staying open for the sake of daily wage earners, all migrants struggling to survive after the closure of their factories. With no income, they have little or no cash.

Pereira requested authorities to allow him to keep his shop open so that workers can withdraw some money from their accounts. These, usually, are at a bank branch back at their hometowns where their families use pass books and ATM cards to withdraw money. Now,...

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