Financial Inclusion- News and Views - March 2014


March 2014

This month’s lead stories focus on the crucial role that technology is playing in financial inclusion, in particular the mobile phone: a) RBI Governor Dr. Rajan’s speech on how technology can facilitate unified KYC norms, payments and remittances, credit products for small businesses etc. and b) the MMU 2013 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked released by GSMA that gives a global overview of the industry.


Lead Stories


Financial Inclusion: Technology, Institutions and Policies

In a speech at the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum, RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan highlighted the fact that, “Technology, with its capacity to reduce transaction costs, is key to enabling the large volume low ticket transaction that is at the centre of financial inclusion.” He raised various areas in which technology can help remove roadblocks to inclusion e.g. reduce stringent and cumbersome KYC procedures using transaction monitoring mechanisms and an inter-operable system for KYC, create credit history for small businesses through shared payments records, install processes to detect fraud etc. He also spoke of the need to set up “a secure way to allow funds to be freely transferred between bank accounts and mobile wallets, as well as cashed out of mobile wallets”, through a wide network of business correspondent agents; this would be the key to cheap and universal payments and remittances.

MMU 2013 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked

The GSMA’s annual survey showed that mobile money is catching steam across the world, with 219 services in 84 countries at the end of 2013. Nine markets (all in Africa) have more mobile money accounts than bank accounts, compared to four in 2012. While thirteen deployments have more than one million active users, seven of these passed this threshold between June 2012 and June 2013. Mobile financial services are moving beyond payments and 123 mobile insurance, savings, and credit services are live – 27 of which were launched in 2013. Three present trends are expected to be accentuated this year:

Account-to-account interoperability, among mobile wallets and also with bank is on the rise. There is also an opportunity for mobile money services to connect with more traditional financial services, enabling transactions and new products between bank accounts and mobile wallets. Many deployments have already started to integrate their services in this way, and many more are expected to follow.

In 2013, transactions involving external companies have been driving the growth of mobile money globally, representing 29% of the value transacted in June. Going forward, more mobile money services are expected to capture the payments demand from companies and institutions to drive high volumes of transactions on their platforms.

A growing number of providers are interested in launching mobile insurance, credit and savings services, and many new launches are expected over the next couple of years. However, more proof points are needed for how these services can be offered sustainably, in order to ensure adequate levels of investments are made by the industry.

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

Financial Inclusion - The Indian Model – Challenges and Prospects

Dr. Deepali Pant Joshi, ED, RBI, February 21, 2014

Inclusive Growth and the Role Technology Can Play in It

Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor, RBI, February 13, 2014

Mapping of Gram Panchayats for coverage through Branch/BCA/CSc As on 04.02.2014

Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance

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


Bankers discuss financial inclusion

'M-Pesa' Launched in Odisha

The case against hiking ATM fees

Need for a new model of financial inclusion

Not everybody who asks for credit should get credit: Nachiket Mor

India turns into biggest market for smart cards

RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty favours financial inclusion not bank mergers

India Post’s banking dream suffers a setback

Payment banks as financial levellers

Any Inclusion Strategy Must be Granular, Comprehensive: Chanda Kochhar

The Ambitious Mor Committee Report – Challenging Indian Norms

Could India’s Unique ID be a Financial Inclusion Game-Changer?

A fresh start for microfinance

Trai writes to FM P. Chidambaram for pushing mobile banking services


Tigo pioneers mobile money transfer with currency conversion

Designing Mobile Microinsurance Products: Premium Payment Methods

South Africa embraces mobile money transfer

Understanding Smallholder Demand for Financial Services

Mobile banking spreading to Asia and Latin America

Law governing Mobile Money in the offing:Uganda

Etisalat joins Dialog Sri Lanka’s mobile money deployment eZ Cash

Activating your mobile money customers: could an outbound call-centre work for you?

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

A Critical Look at the Expansion of Banking Services through the Business Correspondent Model: Observations from Andhra Pradesh

S Ananth, T Sabri Öncü, CAFRAL, Mumbai, EPW, February 22, 2014

Promising Starts in Mobile Microinsurance: Tigo Senegal & Telenor Pakistan

Phil Levin, GSMA MMU, February 2014



Regulatory Trends for Financial Inclusion: Lessons from Brazil

Policy Brief January, 2014

Serving the inclusion goal profitably

Policy Brief November, 2013

In the media

‘Payments banks’ raise more questions

Financial Express, 24 January 2014

A shaky vision for financial inclusion

Mint, 16 January 2014


Mobile Money for the Unbanked: State of the Industry 2013

Advent of Virtual Banks in India – A relook at Nachiket Mor Committee Report: Guest Post by Probir Roy

Views on the Recommendations of the Mor Committee on Inclusion



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.

© Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 28th February 2014


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