The year 2017 was all about consent!
With payment apps taking over our phones, and with digital banking, fintech, open banking becoming the latest buzz words, the progress of financial inclusion critically rests on how financial service providers will set up their consent architecture. This is not a hypothetical conjecture, but a reality that has already unfolded in front of us. Airtel Payments Bank, the first payments bank to be licensed, made the headlines for all the wrong reasons – it has been fined, and its Aadhaar-based eKYC rights curtailed, for opening bank accounts without customer knowledge. See Airtel can do eKYC till 10 Jan with riders (Business Standard, December 22, 2017), Airtel repays Rs 138 cr of DBT amount (Hindu, December 22, 2017).UIDAI has now expressly stated what should have been obvious from the start - users' consent must for changing bank accounts to receive subsidies (Mint, December 20, 2017).

The Supreme Court ruling on the right to privacy as a fundamental right has its implications for financial inclusion, as detailed by Malavika Raghavan(EPW, Vol. 52, Issue No. 51, 23 Dec, 2017). While the final hearing on Aadhaar PILs is scheduled for January, the Supreme Court has pushed the deadline for linking of Aadhaar to various government services and bank accounts to 31st March 2018. Also, the date for public feedback on the White Paper of the Committee of Experts on a Data Protection Framework for India has been extended till January 31st 2018.

The Airtel case, the Supreme Court judgement on privacy and the ongoing consultation on data protection all highlight the lesson for the year – banking and financial inclusion may be managed through technology but in the end, they are built on trust.Till the appropriate framework and legislation for consent architecture evolves over the year ahead, we can hope that consent will not be taken lightly by the government or industry.


• Indicus Blog:Banking beyond 2017
• Indicus Blog:Fintech Challenges for Financial Inclusion
• Indicus Blog:Regulatory Sandboxes - are they for India?


Financial inclusion: Long road still ahead in 2018

Payments banks offer more options

Fino Payments Bank becomes Rajasthan government’s business correspondent

Reaping the benefits of inclusion

Why UIDAI action against Airtel will serve as a lesson to those misusing Aadhaar system

Coordination between conventional and differentiated banks important inclusive growth: RBI

How context informs drivers and barriers for value chain digitisation

RRBs net profit up 15% despite higher provisioning

How digital tools can help Colombian coffee growers

When Savings Aren’t Enough: How Low-Income Bangladeshis Use Loans

State of Play – Insights on the Evolution of Pakistan’s Mobile Money Agent Network

The Unrealised Potential of Mobile Wallets in Pakistan

The Clear Blue Water on the Other Side of the Digital Divide

A First Look at Indonesia’s Emerging Agent Network


Household Perception & Impact of Bhamashah Digital Governance Reforms in Rajasthan, MicroSave, December 2017
Land Record Digitisation - Exploring New Horizons in Digital Financial Services for Farmers - Part I, MicroSave, December 2017
Land Record Digitisation - Exploring New Horizons in Digital Financial Services (DFS) for Farmers: Part-II, MicroSave, December 2017
Data Collection by Supervisors of Digital Financial Services, CGAP, December 2017
China's Alipay and We Chat Pay: Reaching Rural Users, CGAP, 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. 2thJanuary 2018.

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