Financial Inclusion- News and Views - November 2015


November 2015


The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has continued to grow in strength; total deposits have crossed Rs. 25,000 crores and zero balance accounts have dropped to less than 40% across the country. Analysis of large sample data from State Bank of India (SBI) by Soumya Kanti Ghosh(Chief Economic Adviser, SBI) and Pulak Ghosh (IIM,Bangalore) shows interesting positive trends (TOI, October 30,2015):

  • Average number of active accounts (defined as at least one transaction per month) has grown 25 times between August 2014 and May 2015, while dormant accounts multiplied by 10 times.
  • The main push in active accounts for rural areas is from the west, followed by the north. Semi-urban regions in the east and south are also showing an exponential growth.
  • “Active of the active” accounts i.e. with more than two transactions a month rose from 0% to 16% in the rural east and from 4% to 15% in rural north over the period studied.
  • Average balance in rural regions has increased from Rs 250 to around Rs 2,000 over the period – here the east leads, followed by the west. Average balance in rural east (close to Rs 3,000) is even higher than in metro east, indicating the huge untapped potential of this part of India.
  • In rural east, remittances now constitute nearly two-third of the total credit deposit as against virtually non-existent transfers in August 2014. Rural south has similar trends, while cash is the increasing trend in rural west and rural north.

While the financial inclusion mission in India is largely focused on banking metrics, SV Divvaakar of ICFI (Financial Express, November 4, 2015) makes the point that reliable connectivity at the last mile is crucial to accelerate financial inclusion. The telecom footprint needs to be monitored more granularly by the PMJDY Mission Directorate to check availability and quality of internet and broadband services at the locations of ‘Bank Mitras’ (business correspondents) across India.

Finally, last month saw partial relief by the Supreme Court on use of Aadhaar - on 14th October, the interim order of August was relaxed, extending the use of the Aadhaar number to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, pensions by central and state governments, and the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme. This amendment was in response to a large number of state governments, regulators and associations approaching the Court, including the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the governments of Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Indian Banks’ Association, and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).


Direct Benefits Transfers: An Update
Policy Brief June, 2015

Digital Financial Inclusion: Agenda for India
Policy Brief March, 2015

In the Media

Additional telecom metrics needed for financial inclusion
Financial Express, 04 November 2015

The payments banks revolution
Mint, 24 August 2015

Which comes first: identity or privacy?
THE HINDU BusinessLine, 18 August 2015


Will Payments Banks Disrupt Banking in India? By Probir Roy and Sumita Kale
PMJDY Update
Digital transactions on the uptrend

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

Whither the Co-operative Banking?
Shri R. Gandhi, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, October 24, 2015

Indian Banking Sector- A Regulatory Perspective
Shri S. S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, October 2, 2015

Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) - Revised Guidelines 
Pradhan Mantri Jan - Dhan Yojana
Trend of Zero balance accounts under PMJDY
Bank Mitra Remuneration
Non Banking Financial Company-Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) – Directions – Modifications

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


India's unbanked population halves to 233 million
Smaller states, UTs go big on Jan Dhan
'Payments banks to reduce rural remittance costs'
20 commercial banks want to tie up with India Post Payments Bank
Use of Aadhaar to Help in Financial Inclusion: Rajan
Rs 2000 crore fund to push financial inclusion: RBI
RBI stresses on shared infrastructure for payments banks
Nachiket Mor Brings Banking to India's Poor
Government plans to focus on financial literacy; postmen to tutor rural India on banking system
India’s Changing Banking Landscape Will Drive Inclusive Growth
India needs 500 million bank in the palm devices for powering financial inclusion
Hasten slowly
Financial inclusion and women empowerment
Are the $2 Billion Annual Savings Arising from PAHAL Real?
Reducing Friction To Succeed
Payment Banks: The 'unprivileged' banking lounge
Training, Monitoring & Support – Necessary Or An Opportunity To Cut Costs?
Financial inclusion need not be pushed beyond a point: Rajan
Payment industry to witness multifold growth
A Conversation with India's Minister of State for Finance
The future of mobile wallet lies beyond payments
A digital finance revolution for a Digital India


Just How Open is Safaricom’s Open API?
Banking on Change: Enabling Women’s Access to Financial Services
Safaricom Launches Feature to Stop Erroneous Transfers: Hakikisha
How Hard is it to use Mobile Money as a Rural Bangladeshi Woman?
Financial Inclusion Opportunities and Challenges in Tunisia
Making Mobile Money Accessible in Pakistan
Addressing Competition Bottlenecks in Digital Financial Services
DFS Risk: “When it works, it’s great; when it’s bad, it’s awful"
How To Use Games For Financial Education
Pakistan: Is Mobile Money a Viable Alternative to Banking?

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

DBT Readiness Assessment: Assessing Readiness for Direct Transfers
Manoj Sharma, MicroSave, October 29, 2015
Mystery Shopping for Financial Services
Rafe Mazer, Xavier Gine and Cristina Martinez, CGAP, October 27, 2015
Inclusive Finance and Shadow Banking
Timothy Lyman, Leesa Shrader and Olga Tomilova, CGAP, October 6, 2015

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.

© Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 31st October 2015

Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion, 2nd Floor, Nehru House, 4, Bahadur Shah ZafarMarg, New Delhi 110002 Website:

Copyright © 2015 - All Rights Reserved