The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has made impressive strides since its launch in August 2014. As of 30th March 2016, 21.43 crore PMJDY accounts has been opened, 61.5% of which are in rural areas. RuPay cards have been issued to more than 82% of these accounts, deposits have crossed Rs. 356 billion and the share of zero balance accounts has dropped to 27.39%. The Department of Financial Services has not only been proactive in tracking various indicators of progress to ensure meaningful financial inclusion, it has also collaborated in the assessment of the programme by an independent third party. MicroSave conducted three rounds of assessment over the period October 2014-December 2015 to analyse and assess the impact of, and challenges associated with PMJDY, for beneficiaries and channel partners, specifically Bank Mitras, or agents. The results of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) WAVE III Assessment were released in March:
Transaction readiness of Bank Mitras, as a percentage of available Bank Mitras, has improved from 54% and 79% in Wave I and Wave II, respectively, to 81% in Wave III.
Transaction levels have shown an improvement over time, with the average monthly number of transactions per agent at 301, up from 209 in Wave II.
Increase in transactions has led to a significant increase in agent income, standing at an average monthly Rs. 4,692 in Wave III from Rs. 2,724 in Wave I.
While most of the indicators tracked by the surveys have shown significant improvement, there are quite a few challenges still to be tackled e.g.
Bank Mitra dormancy has increased marginally from 8.4% and 7.9%, in Wave I and Wave II, to 11% in Wave III. This trend needs to be addressed and checked at the earliest. Here, higher and timely commissions on DBT transfers will help bring some stability to agent income.
Duplication of customer accounts has more than doubled over the course of a year of PMJDY. While 86% of the customers had indicated that there were first time account holders in the initial rounds, in Wave III this percentage dropped to 67%. While Aadhaar seeding will help mitigate the problem of multiple accounts, the incentive structure that favours account opening can be relooked towards a more balanced scheme.
The monthly newsletter from the Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion documents the latest news and views in the financial inclusion space, to provide a knowledge base that will help build understanding around how to accelerate the poor’s access to high-quality financial services. Editor: Sumita Kale can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 & Melinda Gates Foundation. http://www.indicus.net/icfi