India-based Axis Bank has launched Financial Inclusion (FI) program in 29 tribal villages of Nashik district of Maharashtra, India, through the launch of no frills accounts called ‘Azadi,' reported Business Standard.

For its Financial Inclusion project, Axis Bank has partnered with seven local rural co-op credit societies, which will facilitate in customer enrollments and act as service centers to facilitate cash in/cash out transactions.

Axis Bank aims to open 10,000 accounts by March 2011 across the 29 tribal villages under four village blocks- Surgana, Kalwan, Deola and Saptashringi Garh in the district. The bank will issue Visa debit cards for every new account holder.

Axis bank is also considering multiple technology options like bio-metric Smart Cards, EDC machines with debit cards issued in a closed user group and mobile based FI.

SK Mitra, president for retail banking at Axis Bank, said: “As part of our ‘Financial Inclusion Program,’ we will extend basic banking facilities to a population of 180,000 spread across 29 villages in four village blocks by providing them no frill accounts.

“The technology platform is enabled to accept recurring deposits and small value loans, which may be offered whenever the need arises. Enablement for providing small value remittances and third party products is currently on.”