India has the second-largest number of adults without a bank account
According to World Bank, 190 million Indians (almost half of the adult population) currently don’t have bank accounts despite the success of a government flagship financial institution scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (translated into English as Prime Minister’s People Money Scheme) aims to have a bank account for all Indians.
The financial institution scheme was launched by the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on the 28th August 2014.
Currently, 69% of adults (3.8 billion people) have a bank account or mobile money provider, a crucial step for an individual to escape poverty.
That’s a 7% increase from the 2014 figure of 62% and a further 18% up from 2011 where 51% of adults across the world who own a bank account.
China has the highest number of adults globally who don’t have a bank account at 225 million, making the world’s largest unbanked population.
India is behind China with 190 million in second place, followed by Pakistan (100 million) and Indonesia (95 million) in third and fourth positions respectively.
Modi’s government has massively pushed the Jan Dhan Yojana to increase Indian bank account ownership through biometric identification cards:
“This policy benefited traditionally excluded groups and helped ensure inclusive growth in account ownership,” the report said.
During 2014 and 2017, bank account ownership in the country had risen by more than 30 percentage points for women.
Adults who are in the poorest 40% of Indian households saw an increase in owning a bank account within the country.
The World Bank explained that a strong push by the Indian government to increase bank account ownership was down to the introduction of biometric identification cards.
This has led to the gender gap and rich and poor adults being reduced due to the implementation of the Jan Dhan Yojana.
The report said: “Today, India’s gender gap has shrunk to 6 percentage points thanks to a strong government push to increase account ownership through biometric identification cards.”
In India, there was a 12% gap between male and female account owners. 41% of men owned a bank account compared with 29% for women.
1.7 billion adults across the world still remain without a bank account despite two-thirds owning a mobile phone that could enable them to access financial services.
South Asia saw an increase in adults owning a bank account as the percentage went up 23 points to 70%.
India was one of the countries that have made great progress in that area with massive gains being made among women and poorer adults.
Regional account ownership grew by 12% despite men benefiting more from the outcome than women.
Additional Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts have accumulated deposits of Rs. 810 million (approx. £8.67 million GBP, $12.1 million USD).