GUWAHATI, Dec 7: In a groundbreaking collaboration, HDFC Bank has joined forces with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) to introduce i-Innovate, a strategic initiative poised to reshape the landscape of financial inclusion for differently abled individuals. This nationwide program is meticulously designed to spotlight FinTechs dedicated to this segment, harnessing the potential of Assistive Technology (AT) to redefine accessibility in the financial sphere. The partnership is further fortified by the inclusion of the AssisTech Foundation (ATF) as a supporting partner, bringing valuable expertise to the table for innovating and nurturing startups catering to this demographic.
With over 2.2% of the population falling into this category, i-Innovate is strategically positioned to implement programs that foster innovation and inclusivity in the financial sector for differently abled persons. This collaboration aims to conduct an in-depth analysis of the current financial landscape, identifying key market gaps and challenges at the intersection of assistive technology and finance. The initiative encompasses a spectrum of activities, including innovation challenges, hackathons, acceleration programs, and awards, all geared towards actively supporting and acknowledging startups committed to crafting solutions for the financial inclusion of differently abled persons.
Smita Bhagat, Retail Branch Banking Head at HDFC Bank, underscored the significance of this initiative, stating, “HDFC Bank is collaborating with RBIH to innovate inclusive financial products that empower persons with special needs. Our goal is clear – to build a banking system that is as diverse as India itself.”
Shalini Sahay, head of corporate communications, marketing, and partnerships at RBIH, emphasized the importance of this partnership in fostering innovation and inclusivity in finance, stating, “Through i-Innovate, we commit to bringing forth groundbreaking solutions at the intersection of assistive technology and finance.”