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Fintechs lend a hand in COVID fight, take on vaccine hesitancy in villages

Using their wide network and technology, finetch firms are helping villagers register on CoWin. Their banking correspondents are spreading awareness and also encouraging people to get vaccinated against coronavirus

June 27, 2021 / 09:00 AM IST
Rumours and lack of awareness in rural areas is coming in the way of India’s COVID vaccination drive. (Image: AP)

Rumours and lack of awareness in rural areas is coming in the way of India’s COVID vaccination drive. (Image: AP)

Deepak Jatav is a one-man bank for scores of people in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna district who are not part of the banking system.

An adhikari, or a banking correspondent, for fintech firm Spice Money, Jatav, equipped with a biometric scanner, helps customers make cash deposits and use an Aadhaar-enabled payment system for withdrawal, loans, bill payments and sending money to family.

In the last few weeks, his role has expanded—to that of a vaccine evangelist. He is now the go-to person for anyone willing to take a coronavirus shot.

Outside his shop, Jatav has pasted a photograph of him taking the first jab. Before he carries out a transaction, he has one question for each of around 150 customers he gets in a day.