Improving access to financial services among the nation’s many unbanked citizens is a priority for the Government of India. It is estimated that nearly one fourth of India’s population does not have access to formal banking services. Access to credit is particularly lacking among rural poor households in India. Reliable and secure forms of credit can provide individuals with opportunities to make investments that build income and contribute to the larger economic development.
Researchers at IFMR LEAD’s Centre for Microfinance (CMF) have studied financial access among rural households across several regions in India to learn which types of credit are most prevalent and how these services are utilized. Findings from these studies have helped develop effective credit products and programmes for rural poor households in India. Researchers are also working to understand how new models of outreach and technology might enhance take-up of formal and semiformal credit products to improve financial inclusion among rural poor households.