This paper lays out some of the basic concepts surrounding financial inclusion, including access to banking, digital payments and financial literacy, as well as markets for health insurance, crop insurance, agricultural credit, small firm finance, and microcredit/ microfinance. It goes on to discuss various empirical and institutional studies of these dimensions of financial inclusion in the context of developing countries. The paper then outlines several recent studies for India sponsored by the International Growth Centre, which pertain to these specific aspects of financial inclusion. Finally, the paper draws lessons for policy-making and future research directions. Important considerations that emerge from the overview are the significance of social and economic context, the need to consider behavioral biases connected to situations involving time and risk, the interaction of different dimensions of financial inclusion, the importance of details of policy design, and the limited understanding we still have of many of the factors underlying the functioning of financial markets.
financial inclusion saving insurance credit microfinance financial literacy India