Towards inclusive growth
MARWAR India|November - December 2020
Nearby Technologies brings basic banking, digital payment and financial services to people at the bottom of the income pyramid through partnerships with neighbourhood retail and kirana stores. MARWAR talks to Anand Kumar Bajaj and Yashwant Lodha, two of the group’s four co-founders, to learn about their journey of building India’s largest hyperlocal fintech network.
Pooja Mujumdar

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS had a harsh impact on businesses, jobs and incomes everywhere, forcing almost everyone to take stock and reconsider their financial priorities. People are cutting back on discretionary spending and focusing more on saving and investing. Unfortunately, those in the low-income brackets and also those in smaller towns and villages are at a greater disadvantage, majorly due to lack of financial and technological literacy.

There is a dire need to bridge this gap by simplifying banking and digital payment services and financial products, both in their nature and the way they are offered. Nearby Technologies, a hyperlocal fintech start-up, has been tackling this problem by partnering with local retailers by on-boarding them as ‘Digital Pradhans’ and enabling them to provide Aadhaar banking or Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS), bank deposits, insurance, etc, to customers at their store itself, via its app-based platforms, and earn a commission on every successful transaction. For customers, availing these products and services is as easy and convenient as purchasing grocery at a store ‘nearby’!

Nearby Technologies was founded four years ago by Anand Kumar Bajaj, Subhash Kumar, Yashwant Lodha and Rajesh Jha. The organisation has several brands, all of which work on a B2B2C model. Its flagship brand is PayNearby, an app that integrates multiple services— Aadhaar banking, bill payment, money transfer, mobile and DTH recharge, SMS payment (paying by clicking on a link sent via SMS) and khata management (to record and manage customer orders on a credit basis)—on a single platform. Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, says, “Our mission of making ‘Har Dukaan Digital Pradhan’ is aimed at creating a symbiotic relationship between local retailers and their communities. By keeping retailers at the forefront of our vision for financial inclusion, we have not only helped the masses to avail financial services, but also helped our retailers stay relevant in today’s evolving economy of e-commerce and large-format superstores.”

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