Reposted with permission
Calling All Innovations in Financial Capability! A New FI2020 Project Needs to Hear about You
>> Authored by Julia Arnold, Research Consultant
A colleague recently shared a story about helping a friend’s housekeeper open a Jan Dhan Yojana account in India – a free bank account offered through India’s massive new financial inclusion scheme. After being stonewalled by the bank teller and yelled at by the assistant manager, who insisted the bank no longer offered the account, my colleague and the housekeeper were ushered into the bank manager’s office. The bank manager proceeded to ask the housekeeper for multiple forms of ID, none of which are required for the Jan Dhan Yojana account. Only when the bank manager recognized my colleague as a financial inclusion expert and author of a scathing newspaper article on the Indian banking sector, did he “make an exception”. When the housekeeper returned the following day to get her debit card, she was asked for payment. Luckily, she pointed to a copy of a pamphlet in the local language, which showed that she should be allowed to open the account without a deposit. Now, after all that, she is a member of the formal banking system of India.
What this story shows is that a decree that banks must offer a financial product to the unbanked is not enough. Educating frontline staff, shifting workplace culture, and strengthening consumer protection laws are all key changes needed to enable genuine inclusion.
Innovations in Financial Capability Survey
CFI is seeking innovations in financial capability to understand the range of ways the financial inclusion world is building financial capability among clients with an emphasis on innovations and use of tech and integration of behavioral insights. Financial capability refers to a person’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior, which lead to more informed, personal financial choices and outcomes. Innovations refers to any new or a new use of a delivery mechanism, program idea, or process. We are searching both for stand-alone efforts and especially for elements that are integrated directly into other processes.