Financial Inclusion in Action

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Lessons from Orality for Digital Financial Services Development

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At 6:30 a.m.,in a busy wholesale vegetable market on the outskirts of Varanasi, Shanti Devi is haggling with the wholesale vendor of cauliflower. The price is negotiated at ₹300 a sack. Shanti takes out two ₹500 currency notes from her batua (cloth purse) and hands it to the vendor for two sacks. The vendor hands… Continue reading

Role of Bank Mitrs in Direct Benefit Transfer Ecosystem: Are Banks and Government Ignoring Their Brand Ambassadors?

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The direct benefit transfer (DBT) programme is an important and far-reaching initiative of the Government of India. The successful rollout of DBTL (DBT for subsidy transfer of domestic LPG) could save Rs. 7,700 crore (USD 1.167 billion) for the government. This is about 38% of subsidy budget of Rs. 20,000 crore (USD 3.01  billion) for… Continue reading

Embracing A Market-led Approach To Developing Product Concepts

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According to the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion Database, more than 2.5 billion adults do not have an account at a financial institution. Among the many factors that are responsible for this high level of financial exclusion, poor design of financial products is key. Why, then, is it so difficult to design financial services for… Continue reading

Financial Inclusion Histories

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We do most of our work in a historical vacuum. We tend to think of today's problems and opportunities as unique. That's a natural bias in an age imbued with a sense of inexorable progress reliant on technological solutions. But if we lift our gaze over historical time, we find numerous references to issues and… Continue reading

Insights from the Field: Financial Capability via Listening & Learning

Here is what we already know: most people at all income levels learn more from their first-hand experience with various financial services (formal and informal) than from “expert” or outside advisors. And sharing that learning with immediate friends, colleagues, and family carries more trust and has more impact than any brochure or video or special… Continue reading