The first month of the year has been one of deliberations in India on crucial issues of privacy and data sharing - see Public Consultations on White Paper of the Committee of Experts on Data Protection Framework for India and Supreme Court Constitution bench begins hearing pleas against Aadhaar. While on one hand, fundamental concerns are finally being dealt with, on the other, India must move a step higher on financial inclusion.

The Economic Survey 2017-18 notes the progress in bank accounts under the PMJDY scheme (See page 4, Box 1), pointing out that the increased provision has now to translate into increased usage. One way to increase the engagement of the customers is set forth in the Union Budget 2018-19 - micro insurance and unorganized sector pension schemes will be extended to all sixty crore basic accounts.

It is also crucial that the government now focuses on removing implementation glitches that are marring the progress of financial inclusion and Direct Benefits Transfers (DBT). For instance, as the MicroSave Assessment of DBT in fertilizer shows, the majority of farmers and retailers are satisfied with the DBT experience; however connectivity remains a significant block to a smooth transaction. The DoT and TRAI must be brought in to work at the granular level on resolving the network failures.

There are many other operational issues that need attention such as unattractive retail margins, hardware issues, stock reporting etc. With expectations high and an electorally charged atmosphere this year, the government’s priority should be to ensure successful strengthening of implementation of the DBT programme.


• ICFI Blog: Innovation for Financial Inclusion
• ICFI Blog: Banking beyond 2017
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Progress Report
Small Saving Schemes – Payment of Agency Commission – RBI Notification February 1, 2018


Financial inclusion: Niti pitches for district-level mechanism
Improving livelihood with financial access is the task ahead
Can Fintech Really Deliver On Its Promise For Financial Inclusion?
Payment banks: A reality check
This is the Golden Age of fintech inclusion: Accion's Michael Schlein
Promoting financial inclusion: Why the time is ripe for innovative loan securitisation
Govt makes progress in weaning households away from subsidies, says Economic Survey
India must focus on inclusion of women in its economy: IMF chief
Long live India Post Payments Bank
Digital transactions on the rise but fall drastically short of 25-billion target
QR Codes and Financial Inclusion: Reasons for Optimism
FinTech Partnerships: Choose Carefully, Then Evolve
Balancing the Economics of Interoperability in Digital Finance
FinTech for the Poor: Not All Virtual, Not All Apps
RegTech and Digital Finance Supervision: A Leap into the Future
What Can Mobile Money Make Possible? China Has Many Answers
Aadhaar's new security measures are good, it is still work in progress


Digital credit in Tanzania: Customer experiences & emerging risks, CGAP, January 2018
Opportunities in agricultural value chain digitisation: Learnings from Ghana, GSMA, January 2018
Agent Network Accelerator Research: Indonesia Country Report 2017, Helix Institute, December 2017
Agent Network Accelerator Research: Nigeria Country Report 2017, Helix Institute, December 2017


Editor: The Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion was launched in 2011 to distil and disseminate information on accelerating the poor’s access to high-quality financial services. The centre is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ©Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 5thFebruary 2018

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