The challenges from a technology point of view are many. The systems that provide connectivity need to be relatively inexpensive if they are to be commercially deployed, given the lower incomes in rural areas compared to urban areas. Recently, information and communication technologies (ICT) have emerged as a powerful tool to reduce operating costs, making it viable for financial institutions to expand into rural and low-income areas. It is this possibility of ICT solutions for expanding the rural finance frontier that has stimulated the writing of this paper. Despite the success of microfinance services in many countries, access to financial services in remote rural areas remains a challenge. An innovative business model is required to deliver the financial services to rural areas.
Key words: Up-scaling, ICT, financial inclusion, microfinance, business model, SHG, MFI.
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