Financial inclusion is one of the most important elements in the current scenario for the sustainable economic growth and social development of economies. It is a process of providing the access to use the financial services and giving timely and adequate fund to a group of population especially the weaker sections and low income groups at an affordable cost. Since financial inclusion is mainly stands for the delivery of financial services it doesn’t mean that it will provide the benefits all at all cost. It means that these financial services and products have been delivered to the underprivileged community including small and marginal farmers. It plays an important role to eradicate poverty from the country.
Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As India is a fastest developing country, their main focus is on the attainment of sustainable development and also there must be an active participation that is an attempt to include maximum number of population from all the sections of the society. But the rural population of our country have lack of awareness about the financial services and financial literacy restricting the equitable growth of the economy as majority of population does not have any access to the credit system. This is a serious threat for the economic and social development of the country. In order to solve this issue, the banking sector of our country mooted with some technological revolutions like automated teller machines (ATM), online banking, credit and debit cards etc. These introduction of innovations paved the way for improve the inclusive growth of economy. Though these innovations in the banking technologies bought drastic to the urban population, still a large number of rural population is unaware of the current changes and they are excluded from the formal banking facilities.
Financial inclusion is the key for providing empowerment to the rural population including poor, small or marginal farmers also the women community with the mission and vision of making them self- reliant and giving information to take better financial decisions. This may pave them a way to exercise easy availability of financial services which enables maximum amount of investment in business opportunities, education, save for retirement. etc by the rural people and the institutions.
The main factors for the lower amount of penetration of financial services in India are because of the supply side and demand side of services. Among that, probably, lack of supply of financial services is reason for lower penetration. Due to factors such as low income level, lack of financial literacy etc. are the reasons for lower demand of financial services. On the other hand, the factors which affect the supply side are no nearby bank branch in the surrounding, lack of essential products and services that matches with the needs of the poor people, language barriers and complex processes. From 2005 onwards the government of India and Reserve bank of India (RBI) have been jointly initiating the efforts to improve the financial inclusion. Some of them are use of business facilitators and correspondents, framing know your customer (KYC) norms, use of mobile technology, use of ATMs etc. have played an important role for availing the loan or credit to the underprivileged. The various measured introduced by the government includes, initiating of Mahatma Gandhi National Guarantee scheme, Aadhaar scheme, Kissan credit scheme etc. These measures are mainly introduced because to strengthen the financial services and giving equal opportunities to the rural population to access the credit facilities for better life, living and better income.