Financial InclusionHelen Child

Helen Child Talks Financial Inclusion for India

Helen Child Financial Inclusion India

As a supporter of Financial Inclusion, Helen Child understands the historical challenges of operating in a restrictive market and the hurdles required to get a product launched that is not issued by an Indian Bank.

Anyone who has worked in India, as I have, will know that the regulatory landscape was at a complete juxtaposition to what was required to stimulating the market and help the financial well being of the majority of the population. So it was with great interest that I read the article in the Indian Financial Times.

India is a fascinating country with many of the illiterate population still signing their name with a mark or thumb-print yet financially enabled thanks to global availability of mobile phones.  They are able to leap frog much of the journey we’ve all been on and have the potential to play catch up.  Will we see them getting ahead of the curve?…interesting times.

Along with the regulation of the banking sector in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also been spearheading the movement for greater financial inclusion for the population according to an article in the Financial Times of India.

That said we really do have some real issues of our own at home to resolve. I totally support the Financial Inclusion Commission drive for change and to ensure basic affordable financial services are available to all.

The newly elected Conservative Government promised changes – we’ve heard nothing yet, so the lobbing will continue. Watch this space as they say…

Accordingly, the RBI defines financial inclusion “as the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost. Financial Inclusion, broadly defined, refers to universal access to a wide range of financial services at a reasonable cost. These include not only banking products but also other financial services such as insurance and equity products.‚Äù

The Importance of Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion is essential for all members of society, particularly those further down the economic ladder. For India, a country where the vast majority of the population is still very poor, financial inclusion is of great significance.

Financial Literacy allows Indian Population to play Leapfrog

Financial literacy is based on having access to a desktop or mobile devise and the internet and also having the knowledge to use these to access relevant financial information an, services and advice.

It’s something of a contradiction to assume poorer people are not technologically savvy; technology itself is a great enabler. Simply, yet effective technology has allowed banking correspondence services to build connections and bridge geographical gaps across India, allowing information to reach the remotest of villages. With this information at their fingertips, even the more financially unsure customer can question the best in the business.

Mobile Course Delivery

According to the FT article: “70 % of the population holds a mobile phone. Of that, according to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the mobile Internet penetration in rural India is expected to grow from 45 million in December 2014 to 53 million by June 2015.”

Mobile phone usage has enabled banks in India to overcome the huge obstacle; reaching out to people in all corners of the country. Whereas banks in Western countries have easily accessible branches across the country, mobile phones allow Indian banks to effectively operate without a physical presence. The FT article reported: “RBI has said compared to branch banking and internet banking, mobile banking could be handier with significantly lower operating costs.”

The Growth of Financial Tech Companies

India has seen an increase in peer-to-peer lending sites and crowdfunding sites. These new startups have enabled the millions of people outside the formal banking sector to gain access to financial services, such as customer acquisition, underwriting, recovery and engagement.

The Importance of Millennials

The youth of India tend to be more technologically and financially savvy and this has a significant role to play in helping the country become more financially inclusive. According to the TF article: “Youth also have a large sway in influencing decisions and exposure to mass media and technology has gone a long way in making them informed. By nature, Millennials are much better versed on the benefits and risks associated with a financial product.”

Thanks for reading…

Helen Child is the founder and former CEO of the UK’s first E Money License Issuer to be awarded Prepaid Issuing status by both MasterCard & Visa.

Helen is the leading consultant at Striding Edge and heads an experienced team of prepaid card and payments experts. Through her Striding Edge consultancy, Helen provides strategic and practical support to banks and organisations that are seeking to develop or increase their footprint in the European market.

Voted by Paybefore readers as one of the leading ladies in Prepaid.¬† She is a published author and industry speaker. A founding member of the Prepaid International Forum; the global, not for profit prepaid card industry forum.¬† She’s proudly served as a Council Member of Lancaster University.

To find out more about Helen, please visit <a href="http://www.striding-edge-ltd cialis im internet”>

Helen has designed a comprehensive guide to Prepaid Currency Cards (FX Cards). View the guide here.