India’s new financial infrastructure could connect hundreds of millions of people to financial services, but at its core is a biometric ID system that has stirred controversy around data privacy and security. What are the risks, and what can be done to minimize them?
The Indian government’s plan to provide every resident with a unique biometrically linked identity number is an exciting development for those of us dedicated to broadening financial access to unbanked people worldwide.
Even as India moves aggressively to close the financial inclusion gap, the picture of financial inclusion in that country as captured in the latest Findex report reminds us that we have a long way to go.
The rapid growth of microfinance in India today is creating new challenges for a sector hugely impacted by the 2010 crisis. The recently released Inclusive Finance India Report 2016 outlines these challenges and suggests that they should be addressed soon.
India has put in place virtually all of the supply-side factors that should make low-cost financial services available for all. But the big question right now is the customer. The next year will be telling in how the adoption of digital financial services unfolds.
Conventional measures of creditworthiness paint an incomplete — even misleading — picture of microbusiness owners, whose success often hinges on strong local networks and unconventional business strategies.
Our discussions on branchless banking on this blog do not often touch on the role of microfinance institutions (MFIs). The main actors in this space seem to be mobile network operators, commercial banks, larger microfinance banks and technology companies. We have done a bit of thinking on microfinance and mobile banking, notably in this Focus Note and at this Virtual Conference.