In May 2012, we held our annual global management conference in Mumbai, India. The theme was growth with responsibility, which was particularly relevant given our continued expansion in emerging markets such as India.

Inspired by this event, we decided to apply our resources and insights to social issues facing Indian communities. The most fundamental problem is that many people have no official identity, so they cannot access even basic financial services or government assistance.

Today, only 40% of Indian people have bank accounts and just 9% of deposits come from rural areas. This means that many rural people and the urban poor can only get credit from informal lenders. As well as being risky for consumers, this makes credit hard to find and very expensive.

To help address this, the Indian government is developing a Unique Identification Database for all its citizens, using biometric and other evidence to create an online record. This will give people an official identity, so they can access state benefits and financial services.

Using funding from our social innovation programme (see the 'Using innovation to generate social and commercial value' page), we are working with the Indian government to speed up this process, by linking this unique record to our Prove ID product. By connecting many sources of data, Prove ID shows where and when individuals are registered, so their identities can be quickly checked online and there is no need for paper records or visits from local investigators.

This more efficient process ensures that any Indian citizen who applies for a bank account or loan will be traceable on the UID, so they will have faster and easier access to credit. Every application, whether approved or not, will leave a positive trace with the financial organisation involved, which in turn will help people to build a credit history that will benefit their future applications.

Our overall goal is to give more people better access to financial services, helping to improve their quality of life and boost the Indian economy.