Financial Inclusion- News and Views - April 2016


April 2016 


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:

  • Over the three rounds of surveys, agent availability has recorded a significant improvement. That is, Bank Mitras who are present at the stated location and could be met/interviewed increased from 89% and 84% in Wave I and Wave II, respectively, to 97% in Wave III. This is in stark contrast to earlier studies on agent availability (CGAP’s National Survey of Banking Agents, 2013 and The Curious Case of Missing Agents in Rural India, MicroSave, January 2014).

  • 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.


Digital Financial Inclusion: Agenda For India
Policy Brief December, 2015

Service Quality Standards in Telecom Connectivity for Financial Inclusion
Policy Brief November, 2015

Digital Financial Inclusion - Addressing Customer Concerns
Policy Brief October, 2015

In the Media

Enabling direct transfers through JAM
Mint, 12 February 2016

Expectations from the Union Budget 2016-17
FICCI Economy Watch, January 2016, Pages 7-8, 17 January 2016


Strengthening BC network - RBI's timeline
Budget 2016-17 and Aadhaar
JAM or BAPU - which works best for DBT?
RBI to shake up banks with mystery customers
Government Boost to Digital Payments

Section I: Policy – the latest from India’s policymakers

India in the Global Economy
Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, March 12, 2016

Global Economic Turmoil: Impact on Indian Economy and the Way Forward
Shri Harun R Khan, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, March 12, 2016

Expansion of the Scope of DBT- O.M. dated 31 March 2016 
National Scholarship Portal- Constitution of GoS
Pradhan Mantri Jan - Dhan Yojana (Accounts Opened as on 30.03.2016)
Position of Overdraft
Position of Bank Mitra Infrastructure
Trend of Zero Balance Accounts under PMJDY

Section II: News and Views Digest – the latest from India and abroad


India's first cash giving app 'CASHe' launched
All Central government schemes on track to be linked to DBT
Device with Aadhaar authentication feature launched
SBI says number of zero balance Jan Dhan a/cs below 46%
Duplication Of Accounts Under Jan Dhan Yojana On Rise: Survey
Government notifies Aadhaar Act
Aadhaar Bill: Ends right, means wrong
Aadhaar: Fact and fiction
Cholamandalam drops payments bank plans
India Posts payments bank to launch by March 2017: Prasad
Do we have accurate data on banks?
Furthering the Financial Inclusion Agenda in India
Financial inclusion eludes female-headed households
Draw up board approved financial inclusion plans, govt tells banks
Privacy after Aadhaar
NDA’s Aadhaar Bill stronger than UPA’s on privacy: Nandan Nilekani
e-KYC and the India Stack – A Transformative Blueprint for Emerging Markets
Payment Systems in India and Current Status: A Perspective
Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 1: Recourse
Customer Protection in Indian Digital Financial Services: Part 2: Transparency and Privacy
Prioritizing Customers: 3 Lessons from Eko, India


Addressing Information Gaps: What Can Donors Do?
5 Consumer Risks in Digital Social Payments to the Poor
Practical Tools for a New Approach to Financial Inclusion Funding
Building a Digital Finance Ecosystem in Zimbabwe
Global SSBs Chart New Path in Digital Financial Inclusion
Big Data for Good: How Impartial Institutions can Contribute
Improving Recourse Systems in Digital Financial Services
New Bill, Big Changes in Digital Financial Services in Uganda
Enhancing Financial Inclusion for Women in Nigeria
The Impact of Shutting Down Mobile Money in Uganda
Data, Information and Government’s Feedback Loop
Tigo Nivushe, Tanzania: 5 Ways to Build Trust in Digital Lending
Connected Women Recognising Women in Industry in the Digital Age
Partnerships between MNOs and Innovators: Ideas from MWC
What is the availability of mobile money services in 2015?
Creating impact for smallholder farmers through mobile technology in East Africa

Section III: Research – surveys and studies on expanding access to financial services

Fair Price Shop Ownership: How Viable Is It?
Ritesh Rautela and Arpan Sahni , MicroSave, March 15, 2016
Full Report: PMJDY Wave III Assessment
Sakshi Chadha, Anurodh Giri and Manoj Sharma, MicroSave, March 14, 2016
National Survey & Segmentation of Smallholder Households in Mozambique
Jamie Anderson and Colleen Learch, CGAP, March 7, 2016
DBT in TPDS – A Mid-line Assessment: The Road Ahead Seems To Be Long
Alekh Sanghera and Lokesh Singh, MicroSave, March 3, 2016
Savings Achieved through FPS Automation: Step for Greater Efficiencies
Ritesh Rautela and Lokesh Singh, MicroSave, March 03, 2016
Baseline Assessment for DBT in TPDS: Will This Small Step Become a Giant Leap?
Lokesh Singh, Rridhee Malhotra and Arshi Aadil, MicroSave, March 2, 2016
Understanding Demand for Sharia-Compliant Loans
Mayada El-Zoghbi, Dean Karlan, Adam Osman and Nour Shammout, CGAP, March 2, 2016

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 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.

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