February Newsletter

February 2017

India’s Budget for 2017-18 announced on 1st February had several measures for digital financial inclusion: ensuring high speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre to more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats, with wifi hot spots and access to digital services at low tariffs, a Computer Emergency Response Team for the Financial Sector (CERT - Fin) to work in close coordination with all financial sector regulators and other stakeholders, two new schemes to promote the usage of BHIM (Referral Bonus Scheme for individuals and a Cashback Scheme for merchants), launch of Aadhar Pay, a merchant version of Aadhar Enabled Payment System, for those who do not have debit cards or mobile phones, targeting 2,500 crore digital transactions for 2017 - 18 through UPI, USSD, Aadhar Pay, IMPS and debit cards, reduced presumptive income tax for small and medium tax payers on turnover which is received by non - cash means, proposal to mandate all Government receipts beyond a prescribed limit through digital means,etc. The government also accepted a Watal Committee recommendation to create a Payments Regulatory Board within the Reserve Bank of India by replacing the existing Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.

The first two payments banks to launch their services in January - Airtel Payments Bank and India Post Payments Bank – have dramatically different strategies (How does India Post Payments Bank stack up against Airtel Payments Bank, Mint). With Paytm expected to enter the fray soon and other payments banks to follow, India’s banking landscape is set to be transformed this year. In a recent blog post “India has built the rails, will passengers climb aboard?”, Greta Bull of CGAP sums up India’s current challenges on financial inclusion: “The fundamental building blocks of distribution networks with viable business models and consumer adoption of digital payments will be the true test for whether India can fulfill the promise that it holds for radically changing the face of financial services for all Indians.”

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

Budget 2017-18 Speech by Hon'ble Finance Minister
Demonetization: To Deify or Demonize?
MGNREGA PRC 17-1-2017 JS Presentation
Expediting Aadhhar based payment through banks under MGNREGA
Notification for use of Aadhaar for MNREGA
User Manual for Capacity Building for Digital Payments
Pradhan Mantri Jan - Dhan Yojana  
Trend of Zero Balance Accounts under PMJDY
Position of Overdraft
Position of Bank Mitra Infrastructure
Monthly Report sent to PMO for the month of December, 2016 on DBT


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


Nation's first India Post Payments Bank opens in Ranchi, Raipur
Budget 2017: Govt push on e-payments continues
15 data points from the IMF paper on Indian Financial Sector
'A year of rapid development expected in India's Banking Sector'
Transforming  the digital payments landscape
Aadhaar Pay will be cheaper than cards
Mint Annual Banking Conclave: Impact of going cashless on financial inclusion
Moving towards a secure digital economy
Payments Bank: What does it mean for you?
Sunil Mittal declares war on Paytm with Airtel Payments Bank
Aadhaar-based payments will be a game changer in digital banking, says SBI Managing
Director Rajnish Kumar

India's cash conundrum: how ready is India to go cashless?
We need payments neutrality law, says IAMAI and PCI
All’s well that repays well? Not necessarily
Barclays becomes first lender to tie up with India Post
India's audacious initiative to bring banking to everyone is taking shape


Key New Year Resolutions for the Success of Digital Financial Services
Why Does M-PESA Lift Kenyans Out of Poverty?
3 Customer Insights for Better Mobile Money UI/UX in Pakistan
Can Financial Inclusion Change Gender Norms?
RegTech: Are Supervisors Ready for the Data Revolution?
Interoperability and Financial Inclusion: The Regulator’s Role
Telenor’s Valyou service: Pioneering mobile money-enabled IMT in Asia
Reflections and celebrations
Can a G2P payment connection trigger tax and energy reforms?
Examining the financial inclusion of women – the mobile money gender gap in Rwanda

Section III: Research on expanding access to financial services

Accelerating Financial Inclusion in South-East Asia with Digital Finance:
ADB, Oliver Wyman and MicroSave, January 2017

Section IV: The latest from Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion

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. ©Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 7thFebruary 2017

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