May newsletter


The Supreme Court continues to confound Aadhaar opponents. In August 2015, it disallowed the mandatory use of Aadhaar in government schemes;yet, on May 19th, it refused to grant an interim stay on the current deadline of June 30th to link all PAN to Aadhaar. Rather than come out with a clear verdict in May, the petitions against mandatory linking of Aadhaar will now be heard on 27th June, three days before the deadline. What we actually need is frank, open discussion, inside and outside the Parliament, looking at all aspects around giving Indians a digital id. Rather than Supreme Court judgements and case law, what we need is a comprehensive bill, that will give Aadhaar a transparent legal framework to operate under. Read more on this by Sumita Kale in the Financial Express, May 23rd, 2017. For an overview of all the cases against Aadhaar pending in the Supreme Court, see Indian Express, May 31st, 2017.

Will the tyranny of choice affect the new banks growth? With three payments banks operational now, each offering different interest rates, products and incentives, we wonder if the choice overload may confuse people, whether people would gravitate towards more staid regular banks or test the new plans. See the Hindu Business Line, May 24, 2017 for an overview of all that is currently on offer.

These are interesting times, but rather than let the market forces play out, the RBI is not letting go easily. When India Post Payments Bank announced different rates on three types of accounts, it had to backtrack, as the RBI did not allow differential rates on deposits below Rs. one lakh. It is not clear what holds the RBI back on this, but surely new banks should be allowed to explore new options? See Economic Times, May 24, 2017 for the bid by the payments banks for more freedom.

Rather than a policy push, true progress in financial inclusion and retail digital payments in India will come only when service providers adopt a customer centric architecture. We now have S. S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, RBI calling out for banks to raise the bar on customer service and talking of bank account number portability in the future (RBI, May 30, 2017). For digital payments, customer centricity means ensuring zero friction while transacting and a relook at the incentives offered; a possible road map for this has been given by Probir Roy (Mint, May 4, 2017).


Rationalisation of Branch Authorisation Policy- Revision of Guidelines
Inauguration of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) Help Desk by Controller General of Accounts
Payment of Transaction Charges and Cash-out Incentives on Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) and PAHAL transactions
Pradhan Mantri Jan - Dhan Yojana


• Monitoring the Progress of Financial Inclusion in India - Policy Brief March 2017


What India’s Payments Banks Offer
Financial inclusion comes of age
What's Next for the Bitcoin Revolution in India ?
Financial Inclusion: How far to go ?
Banking on technology: P2P lending and the uberization of financial services in India
The Modi Government Has Ensured Financial Inclusion, Now It Needs To Make It Count
Time for a digital Indian Rupee
Can FinTech Cos replace traditional banking ?
Can instant messenger disrupt the digital payments market in India?
The Four Zones: A Missing Chapter in the Financial Inclusion Guidebook
Lessons from Orality for Digital Financial Services Development
Innovation in Mobile Money: What Are the Risks?
Can Digital Savings Reduce Risks in Digital Credit?
How Do Mobile Money Fee Structures Impact the Poor?


Assessment of AeFDS (Aadhaar enabled Fertilizer Distribution System) Pilot, MicroSave, June 2017
Securing the Masses: An Assessment of Jan Suraksha Schemes, MicroSave, May 2017
Understanding Karnataka's Food Coupon System, MicroSave, May 2017
National Survey and Segmentation of Smallholder Households, Bangladesh, CGAP, May 2017 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. 4thMay 2017

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