Global chip maker Intel sees big opportunity in RBI's financial inclusion programme and is all set to launch its Universal Handheld Device (UHD) for banking operations by the end of this year, according to a top company executive.
"The UHD reference design has been developed in India for Indian market. We are taking to companies, who are willing take it up with their brand name," said R Ravichandran, director (sales), Intel South Asia.
UHD is a compact instrument with seven inch screen and a biometric finger print readers along with a thermal printer, which can be used by business correspondents hired by banks to take banking to rural and remote areas of the country.
As two-thirds of the Indian population doesn't have access to banking services, the RBI has come out with an initiative –Financial Inclusion-- in which banking will be taken to the doorsteps of rural masses.
Most of state-owned banks have already announced their Financial Inclusion plans and targets and started recruiting business correspondents in large scale.
UHD, which is an Atom-based embedded device has a printer, biometric capable. It has got a smartcard reader and is also GPRS integrated. Customers can pick and choose the functions they want to perform.
According to Ravichandran, the pilot programme and device testing is currently underway and they anticipate huge demand for this device as the financial inclusion programme takes off at large scale.
Ravichandran said the price of the UHD instrument will depend on the configuration and may start from Rs 30,000-35,000.
"Various features of the device like Battery life, connectivity are being tested in rural conditions. Hopefully by the second half of this year we see some deployments happening. People are also happy with the product," he said.
Replying to another question, he said Intel was also weighing options like exporting these products to Brazil and South Africa.
Further, according to a senior official of Intel, the chip maker entered in to an agreement with a Taiwanese ODM. As per the agreement Intel will get royalty for every piece that is sold.