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Cashless India: Seeing the Vision for Financial Inclusion Come True – Part 2

India’s financial ecosystem is undergoing disruptive changes as it extends channels for customer reach. Let us take a look at what are these changes and how they can help achieve India’s financial inclusion goals.

This is part two of a series covering disruptive banking, regulatory, technology-led and payments initiatives being taken by the government, regulatory, enterprises and private firms to achieve financial inclusion and a cashless (or a less-cash India) vision. The previous post covered the technological infrastructure emerging in India via the cashless layer riding on top of the India Stack platform and the JAM trio.

The goal of financial inclusion is not new in India. Over the past five decades, the Indian government and banking regulators led by the Reserve Bank of India have put several measures in place, starting with the nationalization of banks (1969), building up a robust bank branch network, and mandating priority sector lending targets.

Within the past decade, it has further focused on increasing customer access to financial services through simpler Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and "no-frills" basic accounts (2005), branchless banking (2006) – which we shall shortly delve into in further detail, and the liberalization of bank branches and ATMs (2009). On a parallel thread, digital banking and payments – through the internet and mobile – have been p ...

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