India’s ICICI Bank uses satellite data for farmers’ credit assessments
ICICI Bank, one of India’s largest banks, has started using satellite data to inform credit assessments for farmers.
It claims to be the first bank in the country to use satellite data in this way. The bank has made the service available across 500 villages across
Available in 500 villages across three Indian states: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. ICICI plans to scale up the service to a much larger 63,000 villages “shortly”.
How it works
The bank says it has partnered with “agri–fintech companies” to develop the technology. It doesn’t mention the names of any of the start-ups involved.
But it’s their space technology which analyses weather information for ICICI. They have helped the bank build reports with more than 40 parameters.
Creditworthiness of a farmer is determined by a study of the land, irrigation and crop patterns.
The technology analyses rainfall, temperature, soil moisture levels, and surface water availability data. It also looks at crop names, harvesting weeks, and crop yields. As well as the latitude, longitude and boundary of the land.
From there, the bank can predict the past and future agriculture income, the timing of harvest and sources of income.
Accessing loans remotely
Existing and new farmer customers can use the service to access loans through the bank’s Kisan Credit Card (KCC).
The KCC accounted for one-third to ICICI’s rural loan portfolio of Rs 571.77 billion ($7.7 billion) in the second quarter of 2020.
The new technology powering loan decisions through the KCC comes at an apt time. COVID-19 has forced India’s population to stay indoors and avoid travel.
By the bank collecting relevant data, farmers don’t have to travel to collect it themselves.