Women’s World Banking, together with Bank of Baroda, had launched the Jan Dhan Plus solution program in urban areas of Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai in 2019. To increase awareness of the program, Women’s World Banking hosted the second edition of their flagship series. ‘Making Finance Work for Women’ (MFWW) on Wednesday to discuss approaches to scale up women’s financial inclusion in India.
The recently held virtual event hosted a panel discussion on mainstreaming women’s financial inclusion. Amarjeet Sinha, former adviser to the Prime Minister and former secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, said at the event: “The search for an answer to how we can reduce poverty has been a lengthy quest, which brought us to the virtual event Making Finance Work for Women.”
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“Our years of work in rural India has shown that confident women can really lead local economies, and the return on investment in women has always been higher. Members of women’s self-help groups have proven to be effective enterprises in meeting women’s needs. Their community spirit and social capital must be harnessed for the way forward. Change and transformation happen when finance works for women, and I would like to congratulate bankers for significantly bridging the gender inclusion gap in finance.”
The Jan Dhan Plus model is based on three things: making the banking ecosystem inviting to low-income women, making saving attractive and rewarding for women, and developing the soft skills of gender-focused business correspondents to help them understand better. and meet the needs of female customers, the official press release said.
Kalpana Ajayan, Regional Head-South Asia, Women’s World Banking, said: “India’s focus on financial inclusion has provided the necessary impetus to bring the non-banked segment into formal banking. A women-centric design approach, based on insights, when applied across the value chain and ecosystem, can encourage women to better engage with financial products and services.”
Speaking from the Jan Dhan Plus experience, Sanjiv Chadha, MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda said: “Today, 56 percent PMJDY accounts are women, this is encouraging, but we need to go further and further to help every woman and young adult More importantly, we need them to use their accounts not only for DBTs or savings, but even for pensions, insurance, credit, etc. Jan Dhan Plus was an interesting trial that started in 2020 in urban cities for low incomes for women and was subsequently rolled out in rural areas.Through our partnership with Women’s World Banking, we focused on strengthening capabilities, pursuing a gender-sensitive approach and gender-sensitive our ecosystem to better serve our female customers .”
Rajesh Bansal, CEO, Reserve Bank Innovation Hub, said at the event: “India is poised to become the hub of fintech in the future and the financial inclusion of women requires leveraging innovation in financial services. RBIH’s Swanari was founded to encourage more women-based innovations aimed at solving women’s financial needs. RBIH is also working on gender-intelligent banking that could boost women’s financial inclusion.”
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