Bringing the huge un banked masses to the banking fold is a task which needs more focus & Attention. In India penetration of banking services is less than 50 % which is going to be a huge cause of concern.
Still in India you can find people or family who never had a banking account or nor they have been educated up on the need to have basic savings account to keep their savings for future contingencies .The statics looks awful and completely out of the realm if we really want to achieve the set task of financial inclusion , setting up banking services in rural hinterlands is need of the hour. This category of unbanked population depends on other traditional sources like money lenders and cooperative banks & NBFC’s . Today we are discussing about futuristic banking services and many of the established banks in India had already started operating in this space, looking forward to forge technological partnerships to come out solutions which functions in digital space. Expanding banking services to rural hinterlands is the earnest motive of RBI which lead them to grant two full fledged banking licenses to institutions, But how far this objective is going to be achieved is questions which remains unanswered, But when compared to global peers our penetration of banking services in India is relatively poor( below graph illustrates where we stands today) .
Roping in on the concept of payment banks, receipt banks is fairly a good idea , But if we can use the innovative technological platforms ,it can bring new dimension to the issue penetration of banking in rural sector. I believe the role of technology and innovative models which integrates digital banking platforms ,with an eye to access and service this unbanked population should be strengthened to provide a seamless operation their by achieving operational efficiency by catering banking services to this masses. The advantages of this are manifold.
- Access to cheap and affordable credit facilities to the rural population.
- It helps to increase the monetary transmissions in an economy where more than 80% still lives in rural sector.
- Once implemented we can think of universal banking , where every individual in this nations would have at least one banking account.
- Subsidies and grants could be directly routed to the individual’s banking account rather than depending on intermediaries.
- Provide opportunities for rural population to access cheap credit facilities to buy seeds, seek information on latest farming techniques& advices.
- Support to set up schools , health care facilities with the help of NGO’s , panchayaths to improve the living condition of the common man.
- Banking could also helps the population to think of building affordable houses, toilets ,which could bring in a radical change in their living habits and improve their quality of life.
It is the responsibility of the government and their monitoring bodies to make the banks & other financial intuitions to stretch themselves to achieve for common cause which is socially viable and progressive one.
So banking industry has lot more to offer which could shape the future , only if they could think beyond the objective of healthy balance sheets, Lower NPA’s , over and above achieving profit margins & rallying their share prices in the bourses.