A section of Indian society is still struggling with fundamental financial inequities’, says expert

‘Financial Inclusion Challenges’ report highlights the problems faced by low-income groups and senior citizens in availing financial services

June 15, 2022 12:29 am | Updated October 11, 2022 03:48 pm IST - CHENNAI

BSNL 4G will be one of the biggest game changers that India will witness, Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director of TVS Capital Funds said. “BSNL 4G is a real big thing when it comes to sorting last mile connectivity,” he said at the launch event of a report titled ‘Financial Inclusion Challenges’ in the country which highlights challenges faced by low-income groups and senior citizens in availing financial services by IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) and IIT-M Incubation Cell.

The study report recommended easier cash in cash out access by allowing individuals like kirana store owners, tradesmen to function as business correspondents to reach the end customer, particularly in the remote parts of the country. Banking charges for even purely digital transactions like exceeding free number of transaction limit, insufficient balance, ECS bounce, standing instructions, SMS updates need to be re-evaluated. Individuals and senior citizens exempted from filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) are still being charged TDS by banks, thus making filing returns a necessity. KYC Process and need for PAN, OTP or biometric verification have made it cumbersome for low-income groups — In person KYC (and live-video KYC) to be replaced by non-live (non-human) option, with encrypted liveliness checks built in.

Ashok Jhunjhunwala, president – IIT Madras Research Park, IITM Incubation Cell & RTBI, said: “In a country with a population of 90 crore adults, only a small percentage has ever made (at least one) digital transaction. Despite our achievements in financial services sector, a large section of the Indian society is still struggling with fundamental financial inequities.” He further said IIT Madras Research Park with its strong research backed technology focus has enabled multiple fintech brands to emerge from its ecosystem.

“As part of our ambitious 10X initiative aimed at making India a leader in ‘Fintech for Inclusion’, our team has put together a detailed analysis on the challenges faced by the low-income groups and the steps to bring them into the financial fold. We are confident, the authorities and administrative leaders will find this report a ready reckoner for bringing policy changes that will positively impact and enable India to truly become a leader in financial inclusion,” he added.

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