"We are planning to consider small finance bank as an option, if the RBI guidelines permit," said Nabard chairman Harsh K Bhanwala here, adding it will apply for such a licence through its MFI subsidiary Nabard Financial Services (Nabfins).
Separately, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan today said the final guidelines on small and payment banks will be issued soon and by the month-end the applications for the same would be invited.
Nabard, fully owned by the RBI, is the major share-holder of the MFI and other share-holders include Karnataka government, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Federal Bank and Dhanalaxmi Bank.
Bhanwala, however, said Nabard is yet to take an approval from its board.
The lender today launched a pilot project for digitisation of self help groups (SHG) in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand and Wardha district of Maharashtra. It also plans to roll out the project in eight more districts in different phases.
The digitisation will help self help groups to create a central database and management information mechanism. It would also help them in managing their accounting  in a more accurate and in cost-effective manner.
Digitisation of SHG records and accounts will increase bankers' comfort in SHG credit linkage, Bhanwala said.

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