India is often defined by numbers. As the second most populated country in the world with the fifth largest economy and the largest democracy, it makes sense that when given opportunity and initiative, substantial impact would follow.

Guided by two key projects — one business-related, the other through citizenship — John Deere set out on two differing paths toward remarkable results.

JIVA — the John Deere Foundation's project to improve lives and livelihoods in multiple villages — and John Deere Financial's mobile touchless payment system — a safe, speedy, and efficient advancement — are both journeys that represent independence.


JDF's mission is to help enable growth of product sales by deepening customer relationships and strengthening distribution channels. In India, while no different, fulfilling that mission was certainly unique.

It involved providing customers digital solutions while maintaining that human touch. And while JDF's penetration continues to sustain in India, there are challenges in collecting payments from the 96,000 customers in the portfolio. Crop complexities, 22 different languages, and regionality make getting timely and efficient payments difficult.

In May 2020, nearly 20 percent of payments made in India were done with cash and 40 percent of non-cash payments required assistance. This meant help had to come in-person and, with a global pandemic, safety was a top priority. The business recognized that it needed to create digital solutions that would be scalable, safe, and enable speedy transactions.

JDF worked with a third-party financial technology (fintech) vendor to transition customers to a mobile, touchless system, helping ensure more efficient — and safe — payments. In the first three months, digital transactions topped 10,000 and reduced the turnaround time — for reconciliation and hold times, for example — from three to eight days to two. In-person visits were minimized.

Out of the targeted customer transactions, 97 percent adopted the digital payment via fintech partner versus the initial 50 percent expected adoption rate. The need to drive a motorbike or vehicle to the customer and then help transport them to a vendor location was greatly reduced. With that came cost reductions such as fuel and physical receipts — which required printers, paper, and toner.


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