In India, just over half of all adults have access to a bank account. However, the rate of access to finance varies – sometimes greatly – between states. Kerala has often been cited for its progress in this regard, with the government declaring in 2014 that this southern state had reached full financial inclusion. However, just as there is great variation in financial access between states, there are also differences within states.
Beyond the unique achievements made by Kerala at the macro level, there are underlying spatial patterns and trends that need to be uncovered carefully. Some of these patterns may be unique to the state’s social and economic milieu. But there could be others that can act as useful guidance to other states in their efforts to build inclusive financial services. This report digs deep into the MIX Workbook to identify these patterns by analyzing coverage by institution type, the market share of different types of banks, the spread of ATMs and bank branches, the coverage ratio of all financial service providers, and several other indicators of supply and demand.
Through the Model State Data Platform initiative, MIX has highlighted the factors that lead to financial inclusion of states at the district, taluka and village levels. By building a platform with geographic granularity that brings together a range of financial service providers and their products and services – not restricted to traditional bank accounts – this report hopes to assist stakeholders to realistically assess the coverage of financial services and to devise evidence-based strategies to accelerate financial inclusion.
We would like to thank Citi Foundation for their generous support that made this possible.