1. Agriculture World

Lakhs of Farmers repay their loans digitally with the help of SMARTCollect

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

Spocto, a data analytics company headquartered in Mumbai, is assisting nearly 4 lakh farmers in India in repaying their loans digitally per month, reducing bank recovery time.

The startup, which counts India's top five private banks and the country's largest bank among its customers, employs machine learning and analyses data from banks and third parties to assist banks in recovering loans digitally rather than by traditional methods.

Spocto's SMARTCollect app, which is driven by machine learning and AI, teaches farmers how to pay their dues on time in their chosen language.

“For the agriculture sector, we launched Kisan Pay, which enables farmers to pay their debts on time. A farmer's (loan) is normally repaid twice a year, depending on the harvest cycle. Until Kisan Pay, a farmer must fly 20-25 kilometers to pay his EMI on time and plan two days ahead of time.

We began by informing the farmers that they could use UPI to make payments because they had Jan Dhan accounts. Both of them are Aadhaar-enabled. Spocto's chief executive officer and co-founder, Sumeet Srivastava, said, "We began directing them through the whole operation."

Farmers sometimes miss or postpone their EMI due dates for a variety of reasons, according to him, and their experience of online or digital payment is helping to solve this issue.

“Right now, we help about 3-4 lakh farmers making an automatic UPI payment per month,” Srivastava said. Spocto has developed a vernacular chatbot that can communicate in nearly 26 different languages and dialects.

Srivastava, a former technology executive at Monsanto and GE, wants to make Spocto a world pioneer in risk analytics solutions. “We don't need collectors; you only need collections,” he said, emphasizing how technology will drastically lower the cost of loan recovery for banks while still reducing borrowers' abuse.

In addition to the credit score, the startup is developing a Propensity to Pay score. According to Srivastava, the project has been piloted in 135 countries so far.

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