Financial inclusion includes so many aspects but at its core, it is what keeps a country’s financial services functioning efficiently. It’s comparable to a vehicle that drives economic growth and development. In India, a country with significant differences in social and economic status among its vast population, financial inclusion has become a top priority for policymakers and financial institutions. Financial inclusion includes not only individuals but its scope includes business and enterprise as well. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced the Financial Inclusion Index (FII) to measure the extent of financial inclusion in the country. The FII is like a dashboard that provides a comprehensive view of the country's financial inclusion landscape. In this blog post, we will explore how the FII works, why it is important, and how it can be improved. But first, What does Financial Inclusion mean? Financial inclusion is about ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or socio-economic status, has access to a range of financial products and services that can help them improve their financial well-being. At its core, financial inclusion is about promoting economic and social development by giving people the tools they need to save, invest, and manage their money effectively. It is not just providing people with access to bank accounts or credit. It is also about ensuring that financial services are affordable, accessible, and tailored to the needs of different communities. Why is it so important? Financial Inclusion can - - Reduce poverty by helping people manage their finances better.
- Promote economic growth by providing individuals with the resources they need.
- Improve financial stability by reducing the no. of unbanked individuals.
- Foster innovation by creating opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Develop products and services that cater to the needs of under-served communities.
How do we measure Financial Inclusion?
The Financial Inclusion Index (FII) is crucial in measuring the extent of financial inclusion in the country. The FII comprises three main components -
Access measures the availability and proximity of financial services. It takes into account the number of bank branches, ATMs, and bank correspondents available in a particular area.
Usage measures the extent to which financial services are used by the population. It includes the no. of bank accounts, credit accounts, and electronic transactions per capita.
Quality measures the quality of financial services available. It includes factors such as the ease of access to loans, the availability of financial products, and the overall customer experience.
The index ranges from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating better financial inclusion. Here’s the FII score since it was implemented in 2017 : March 2022: 56.4
March 2021: 53.9
March 2017: 43.4
How Rang De Contributes to India’s FII Score -
The most significant factor that affects FII is geographic barriers. By investing through Rang De, your social investments reach remote and rural areas of India. Technology allows us to transcend geographic barriers which often limit financial institutions from servicing remote areas.
Not only the presence of financial services, but Rang De also makes sure more and more people get access to these services. The foremost way this happens is through Rang De investees getting credit scores once they repay a Rang De loan. Most of our investees are first-time borrowers without a formal credit score.
Once they successfully repay a loan through Rang De, they can have a formal credit score that lets them access a bouquet of financial products and services in the future according to their requirement.
Lack of financial literacy This is another barrier, preventing people from understanding the benefits of financial services and how to use them. A lack of empathy and financial training makes rural folks obscure to formal financial services. Our Financial Literacy program - ‘Swabhimaan’ enables rural communities to make informed decisions about their finances. The program is specially curated keeping in mind their needs. More so, Rang De Impact Partners make sure sound decisions are made by the borrower while accessing the loans via Rang De. The FI index for 2023 would be launched in July. With Rang De, you have the power to give more people access to formal finance and boost the Financial inclusion index of our country.
Join our community of Social Investors and invest at rangde.in/invest to drive change and help India meet its financial inclusion goals.