Financial Literacy for Financial Inclusion Using Mobile Technology in India

Financial Literacy for Financial Inclusion Using Mobile Technology in India

Smriti Ashish Pathak (Symbiosis International University, India) and Shreya Virani (Symbiosis International University, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4035-9.ch006


According to the RBI governor, technology-enabled financial information will spread financial literacy in an efficient and secure manner. India needs inclusive growth to pull millions out of poverty and mobile phone penetration can be a good opportunity. Consumers are exposed to a plethora of financial products but the knowledge is either not there or limited to make judicious choices. The successful implementation of financial literacy services would benefit rural people but it is a challenge to all stakeholders today. One-hundred twenty-five people all over India were selected for a survey and results point that rural poor accept mobile technology for banking related information but do not want to adopt the technology. There are various challenges for financial literacy in India discussed in the chapter. Also, opportunities are many for digital literacy and can be achieved if the challenges are overcome. All the stakeholders should put in concerted efforts at all levels to achieve financial inclusion through mobile technology disruption.
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KMPG (KPMG, 2015) said that the ‘Digital India’ initiative will improve financial inclusion due to technological disruptions. Also people find mobile technology user friendly which has resulted in rising data traffic in the country. The initiative by the present government focuses on digital empowerment and it will positively drive financial literacy.

Microfinance and Mobile phones should join the technology bandwagon to change the face of financial services in India. Developed economies (G20 nations) recognize financial inclusion as a key driver for achieving financial stability. Technological innovations can act as the middlemen between potentially unbanked mobile phone owners. Financial education or literacy is important to deal with the imbalance between adaptability of customers to the technology and using the device for banking related work. Mobile apps tailored for financial education or literacy should be customer specific so that they helping to understand how financial instruments can address their daily financial concerns and provide advice in such manners. The chapter tries to address financial education problem in this evolving landscape and how customers are adopting mobile technology to solve banking related matters. A few terms used in the chapter are financial literacy, mobile technology, stakeholders etc are discussed.

Literacy rate among females in India is low according to a study in IBEF . According to a paper by the New York-based International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity nearly 48 percent of the girls in rural India are literate. India is the second-largest telecommunication market and has the third highest number of internet users in the world according to IBEF. The internet connectivity as per the new digital India program aims to digitally empower citizens in remote areas. As part of this plan, the government wants to make mobile connectivity available in more than 40,000 villages by 2018.

India is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market and has registered strong growth in the past decade and half. The Indian mobile economy is growing rapidly and will contribute substantially to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to report prepared by GSM Association (GSMA) in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) (Shubhashis, 2009). By the year 1980s people has basic telephone service in India where it was only owned by the top 0.001% of the population. But now after nearly 45 years this luxury has passed down to maximum population due to positive reforms, growth in infrastructure and technology disruption. Now further the growth is happening more rapidly with so many players the market is booming with advanced technology, great mobile devices and affordable services.

The liberal policies of the Government are the key drivers for the growth in mobile and internet users. The policies focus on availability of telecom services at affordable prices to the consumers.

Most of the mobile phone designs are targeted to attract rural consumers and Nokia was the forerunner in early 2000 – 2004. With that the mobile services / apps also started to develop and technology started to disrupt the face of handheld device and the services provided.

In terms of revenue, mobile services market revenue in India according to telecom sector report will be nearly 37 billion US dollars in 2017 according to research firm IDC (VISA, 2016) and may cross 100 billion US dollars by 2020. The Indian market is flooded with variety of mobile devices and as per Ericsson Mobility Report India more consumers are adopting smartphones which will increase internet traffic. More than 100 million devices were sold in 2016 with GSMA technology. With the coming up of 4G at affordable rates the number is sure to rise. Some of the major developments related to the telecom industry boom are:

  • Merger of financial services giants like hutch – Vodafone, Airtel and Telenor etc.

  • Setting up of manufacturing units like Apple in Bengaluru etc, China in UP for Vivo/ Oppo.

  • FDI into telecom has also opened up the market and caused this infrastructure change as well as improved effectiveness and affordability for the rural people.

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