Rohini Pande of Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government in the U.S. and colleagues Simone Schaner, Erica Field, Natalia Rigol, and Charity Troyer-Moore will use an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to capture information on the financial access and practices of the rural poor in Madhya Pradesh, India. The system will also enable these people to interact with the formal financial system and receive government benefits. The rural poor in India lack a transparent, verifiable, and easily understood way to access information about account balances and the timing of direct deposit transfers due to poor literacy, and irregular service from bank operators. The IVR system will generate automated voice calls to individuals, providing personalized information on account activity and enabling them to give feedback on banking services through short surveys.
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