A recent press report said that as a part of financial inclusion many initiatives have already been taken viz. nationalization of banks, the lead bank scheme, setting up of regional rural banks, service – area approach, self help groups. In spite of all these efforts only 18 per cent of the population has debit cards and 2 per cent have credit cards. The Reserve Bank of India has prescribed at least four products such as a no-frills banking account with no requirement for a minimum balance and overdraft facility; remittance product for electronic benefit transfer; pure savings product and entrepreneurial credit such General Credit Card and Kisan Credit Card.
The RBI has also instructed all banks to set up business correspondents in all villages with 2000 or more population. The RBI has also directed the banks to open 25 per cent of new branches in rural areas.
Besides these core – banking measures multichannel approach facilities such as handheld devices, mobiles, cards, micro ATMs, branches, kiosks and mobile – wallets, integrating the frontend devices’ transactions were also provided along with the banks’ core – banking solution.
Technologies like biometric card, handheld biometric point – of – sale (POS) device with voice guidance in the local language for confirmation and transaction, GPRS – enabled mobile phones and so on were also included under financial inclusion initiatives.