About FIPS Delhi

Beginning with 2005 — the United Nations’ ‘International Year of Microcredit’, academics, think-tanks, commentators and others in large numbers started thinking and talking aloud on the need for financial inclusion programmes to be included as one of the goals in the Millennium Development Targets. Many further pointed to financial inclusion as a gap impeding the target of inclusive growth. In India, the Government has started experimenting with its Business Correspondent and Facilitator model (“BC”), in combination with the agency banking. The initial years’ policy flip-flop and the resultant lackluster impact have generally rendered the stake holders disillusioned. But taking a cue from the failures certain corrective steps have been taken, but still been tentative.

Although the no-frill accounts & the BC operated agency banking framework has undergone many changes it is still not a reasonable business proposition for the agents. This failure is especially grave because peer experience shows that a strong agent’s network is one of the strongest indicators for success.

If the agents are to be successful there has to be a robust payments infrastructure and settlement mechanism. The Department of Banking and Financial Services, and the finance ministry are both now urging the Reserve Bank of India to include financial inclusion in its plans as India’s central bank moves forward with modernization plans for the Indian payment system. India has miles to go before catching up with Brazil and BRICS partner countries.

While India continues to be a power house in its own right, the sheer size of its sub-continental neighbours are also extremely important. Pakistan and Bangladesh are not falling behind and each nation, despite their own challenges are improving their own Financial Inclusion drive significantly. Bangladesh’s record in financial inclusion is remarkable; the advent of mobile banking for the unbanked by as many as 16 Bangladeshi banks is a welcome news. Same is the recent spurt in Pakistan. And in the near future as the relations amongst the nations in the sub-continent improves in general line, more cross border trade, tourism, financial services need to stay atuned to more modern trends

In this back ground ,therefore, the Financial Inclusion and Payment Systems 2013, Delhi Conference (“FIPS 2013 Delhi) will deliberate, debate and finally set forth a strong message for the right direction & the required steps to be taken in view of the experience gathered during the past decade in detail and seek to provide a roadmap for a better and inclusive society.

The takeaway from the conference will give everyone an opportunity to showcase worldwide efforts towards greater financial inclusion at a time in which the financial inclusion programme mandated through the G20 takes on new importance. For example, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.is devoting significant new resources and is gaining momentum as it has already enrolled more than 100 member countries throughout the world today, from a meagre 6 when it started .

FIPS 2013 Delhi will be aiming at improving the lives, destinies and opportunities of the almost one and one-half billion people living on the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, by working to improve their lives, this conference will also seek to draw from and improve global best practices, through reflective and frank discussions of the achievements, the shortcomings and the challenges on our path to achieving the financial inclusion of humanity. It thereby aims to learn from the peers and translate it in an unique way to fit the each country’s own legacy, its state of readiness and adapt it for the benefit of all the stake holders, and foremost amongst them the people who deserves it.

Potential of BFSI for financial inclusion

  • For economic growth globally there is one segment, which is growing at frenetic pace everywhere – BFSI segment, and the emerging markets are driving the growth story, led by the fashionable reference point of a league of comparable nations or G10 comprising the BRICS.
  • Brazil is the star amongst the nations, simply because of the democratic traditions, while China today is undisputed king amongst nations despite being number 2 to US for the next 10 odd years.
  • Hence the theory propounded at the G20 meetings took upon the global challenge of spearheading Financial Inclusion-led financial deepening as infrastructure, energy, industry and agriculture, all are relatively longer gestation driving up demands and augmented supply to match the growth potential. So along with energy & climate change & emission, financial inclusion issues get equal weightage.
  • But significantly enough, unlike in energy and climate-control issues here the developed and developing nations are bickering and at loggerheads, but on Financial Inclusion there is almost unanimity, although there is degree of difference in commitment level even amongst BRICS.
  • Everywhere Financial Inclusion is top agenda of reform by the governments irrespective of private sector participation level. Brazil, India, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, Argentina and every major G20 nations are actively pursuing Financial Inclusion mission overzealously.