According to Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, CEO and MD, Bandhan Bank, the challenge to achieve financial inclusion is to digitally educate people first to use digital channels
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Though the pace of financial inclusion has increased, a great deal remains to be done to ensure the masses use banking services more effectively to substantially improve their lives, which, in turn, will help India to become a $5-trillion economy, industry experts said at the Mint Annual Banking Conclave.
“Financial inclusion in India is a great story. In terms of having a bank account, I think we have come a long way. There are always a number of people who get added to the banking age, but as far as the existing adult population is concerned a large number of people have already been covered," said C.S. Setty, managing director, State Bank of India. “Now we are almost ripe for moving to the next sphere of financial inclusion," he added.
Bhargavi Zaveri-Shah, from National University of Singapore, said according to a 2019 survey by the National Council for Financial Education, at the pan-India level nearly 87% had a bank account and used it in the last two years. “When it came to a recurring deposit, about 37% actually knew what it was and 18% had one, while 60% knew about term deposit and 14% of them actually had a term deposit," she said.
According to Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, chief executive officer and managing director, Bandhan Bank, “the challenge to achieve financial inclusion is to digitally educate people first to use digital channels. But due to the pandemic it has been difficult to do that. Now that the pandemic situation is better, we should digitally educate people and then they can be boarded for financial inclusion," said Ghosh.
Rajeev Kumar K, senior vice president, Mastercard, said: “We believe very strongly that digital inclusion is the stepping stone for financial inclusion. We are committed to connecting individuals, small businesses and farmers and bring them into the digital fold so that they can achieve their ultimate goal."
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