Financial inclusion is a method of offering banking and financial services to individuals. It aims to include everybody in society by giving them basic financial services regardless of their income or savings. It focuses on providing financial solutions to the economically underprivileged. The term is broadly used to describe the provision of savings and loan services to the poor in an inexpensive and easy-to-use form. It aims to ensure that the poor and marginalised make the best use of their money and attain financial education. With advances in financial technology and digital transactions, more and more startups are now making financial inclusion simpler to achieve.
Financial inclusion definition
Financial inclusion is the process of ensuring access to financial products and services needed by vulnerable groups at an affordable cost in a transparent manner by institutional players.
When was financial inclusion concept introduced in India?
The concept of financial inclusion was first introduced in India in 2005 by the Reserve Bank of India.
Objectives of financial inclusion
The objectives of financial inclusion are to provide the following:
- A basic no-frills banking account for making and receiving payments
- Saving products (including investment and pension)
- Simple credit products and overdrafts linked with no-frills accounts
- Remittance, or money transfer facilities
- Micro insurance (life) and non-micro insurance (life and non-life)
- Micro pension
Financial inclusion in India
PMJDY: Around 192.1 million accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). These zero-balance bank accounts have been accompanied by 165.1 million debit cards, a life insurance cover of Rs 30,000 and an accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh.
Other than PMJDY, there are several other financial inclusion schemes in India — Jeevan Suraksha Bandhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Stand Up India scheme, Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes under the social-sector initiatives, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY), Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme (CEGS) for scheduled castes, and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
Why is financial inclusion important?
Financial inclusion strengthens the availability of economic resources and builds the concept of savings among the poor. Financial inclusion is a major step towards inclusive growth. It helps in the overall economic development of the underprivileged population. In India, effective financial inclusion is needed for the uplift of the poor and disadvantaged people by providing them with the modified financial products and services.