Mapping Financial Access: Deposit-Taking in India

Shedding light on formal savings access
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In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched what some have dubbed the “most ambitious financial inclusion program in history”. This announcement, which reverberated throughout the financial inclusion community, clearly illustrated the administration’s desire to reduce the number of unbanked households across India, where recent data has shown that less than two-thirds of households have access to formal financial services. In fact, India is home to 21% of the world’s unbanked adults. While much of the focus in recent years has been on access to credit, there is also a need to increase access to, and usage of, financial savings products. 

While there is no shortage of savings in the country, usage of formal savings accounts is markedly low; according to the World Banks’ Global Findex 2014 report, 43% of adults with a bank account made no deposits in the prior year. As India moves towards increasing financial inclusion, mapping the various financial access points at subnational levels will help surface opportunities to move more people from unbanked to banked. 

With this in mind, the following analysis aims to shed light on access to formal savings at the regional- and state- levels in India. With the accompanying online analytics tool India Country Workbook, MIX hopes to provide the insight necessary for policymakers, industry analysts, and financial service providers to understand and address the gaps in access to, and usage of, deposit accounts in India. 

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