Financial Inclusion, Active Bank Accounts and Poverty Reduction in India
Using the World Bank’s Global Findex data, this research first shows that the efforts by the Indian Government and the Reserve Bank have been successful in providing access to formal banking services, especially in the rural areas of the country. Similarly, financial account ownership gap has been eliminated in terms of gender and income. Further analysis, using the Financial Inclusion Insights dataset, shows that financial inclusion has a positive and significant effect on reducing poverty in India. A closer look at the utilisation of the financial accounts shows that active usage of these accounts would lead to further reductions in poverty levels in India. Therefore, targeted programmes, such as offering financial education both in and outside schools, with the aim of improving financial literacy, could lead to further poverty reduction in India.