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Financial Inclusion- News and Views - February 2016

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February 2016

 

Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) is the current focus, as the Union Budget for 2016-17 is to be presented to the Parliament at the end of this month. The latest Indicus Policy Brief “Digital Financial Inclusion – an update” highlighted the issue of transaction processing charges on DBT payments. While compiling the priorities in March 2015, one critical barrier had risen to the top - the inadequate commission government pays to banks for successful delivery of DBT payments in rural areas. Unfortunately, this remains the top call out as this issue remains unresolved. The 1% commission notified by the Finance Ministry in Jan 2015 barely covers the bank’s costs, making it difficult to pay Business Correspondents and their agents. Keeping the agent network viable should be the topmost priority, and there is merit in starting with higher commissions – the Report of the Task Force on an Aadhaar-Enabled Unified Payment Infrastructure had recommended 3.14% – and progressively reducing these over time as transactions, and thus agent viability, increase. More critically, even these commission charges have reportedly not reached the banks, calling for the need for clear budgetary allocation and transparent and timely payment flows.

It is hoped that the coming Budget addresses this urgent concern of banks and Business Correspondent agents.

Going forward, Dan Radcliffe and Pawan Bakhshi of BMGF set out Four Ways to Boost the Impact of India’s Direct Benefit Transfers that take the DBT programme beyond payouts into bank accounts. A graduation programme and behavioural nudges through the mobile to initiate long term savings will go a long way in making a meaningful impact on poverty.

Research

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

Banking sector poised to see interesting times
domain-b.com, 25 November 2015

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

Blogs

PMJDY is making a difference: Results from Surveys
PMJDY Year-end Update
Telecom Metrics for Financial Inclusion

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

Financial Reforms - Past and Present
Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, January 29, 2016

Research Imperatives for the Indian Banking Sector
Shri S. S. Mundra, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, January 29, 2016

Notifications:
Implementation of Honeble Supreme Court Order dated 15.10.2015 on Aadhaar Scheme under MGNREGA. 
ATM Progress for the quarter ending December, 2015
Progress-Report: Pradhan Mantri Jan - Dhan Yojana
Trend of Zero Balance Accounts under PMJDY
Position of Overdraft
Position of Bank Mitra Infrastructure
Finance Ministry notified conversion of existing DBT accounts to PMJDY accounts
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) Scheme – Seeding of Aadhaar in Bank Accounts – Clarification: RBI

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

India

How technology is disrupting financial inclusion in India
From Plate to Plough: How to expand inclusion
Payments bank: foreign firms keen on tie-up with India Post
Paytm aims for summer rollout of payment bank
PIB likely to approve India Post's payments bank proposal
Digital payments set to take off this year: TRAI chief
Enter the challengers
Payment banks of post offices likely to handle direct subsidy transfers
ET Global Business Summit: Jayant Sinha says India marching ahead on financial inclusion
Government, RBI in talks to allow more free ATM transactions; move to help in financial inclusion
ET GBS: Panel feels banks must incentivise financial inclusion
Locus Classicus on Financial Inclusion
Fashioning A Banking Turn
RBI bats for financial inclusion, changes in health services
Raghuram Rajan included in task force to study global financial system
NPCI aims at financial inclusion: 74% of RuPay card-holders first-time users
#Startup India: Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma says half of the total financial transactions done every day in the country are done via his firm
We want to empower Indians: Jayant Sinha

International

Salam: Both a Greeting & Innovative Agricultural Financing Option
Digitizing Agriculture Value Chains: Building Value for Farmers
Towards a More Enabling Legal Framework for Microfinance in Iraq
20 Years of Financial Inclusion in the Arab World
5 Ways Digital Payments can Bring Women into the Economy
Digitizing Agriculture Value Chains: The Story So far
20 Years of Financial Inclusion in Europe and Central Asia
Finding “Win-Win” in Digitally-Delivered Consumer Credit
What Excludes Women from Formal Finance in the Arab States?
20 Years of Financial Inclusion in East Asia and the Pacific
20 Years of Financial Inclusion in East Africa: 4 Major Shifts

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

Let There Be Light – Direct Benefit Transfer in Kerosene
Ritesh Rautela, Sainath Sunil and Sandeep Kumar, MicroSave, January 19, 2016
Payment Banks: What can we learn from international experience
MicroSave, January 14, 2016
Competition in Mobile Financial Services: Lessons from Kenya &Tanzania
Rafe Mazer and Philip Rowan, CGAP, January 13, 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 sumita@indicus.org. 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. http://www.indicus.net/icfi

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

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