On October 31, 2019, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s(EIU) “Global Microscope 2019: The enabling environment for financial inclusion” report was released. It was the 12th edition of report. The report assessed 55 countries based on enabling environment for financial access. As per the report, India was placed at the 5th spot in the nations having the most conducive environments for inclusive finance. Columbia topped the spot, followed by Peru, Uruguay, and Mexico in the second, third and fourth spots respectively.
- 4 Parameters: As per the report, financial inclusion has improved globally. The ranking was based on 4 parameters. They were the issuance of e-money by non-banks, presence of financial service agents, effective consumer protection and proportionate customer due diligence.
- Top scores in all parameters: Only Colombia, India, Jamaica and Uruguay were the 4 countries that scored perfectly across all four parameters.
- The country that ranked at the 55th spot (last spot) was Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
- Domains: 5 domains were covered, they were government and policy Support, stability and integrity, products and outlets, consumer protection and infrastructure.
- e-money: South Africa, India, Mexico, Tanzania and Uruguay were among the top countries that safeguard e-money. These countries protected their e-money via some sort of deposit insurance.
- 1/5th of the countries included in the report improved their performance in the area of financial inclusion strategies
Report development: The report was produced with financial support and policy advice from leading organisations in the field, that included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (non-profit organisation), United States(US), and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, US. First published in 2007, the Microscope is the global standard for financial inclusion policy in developing economies.
- The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has prepared a draft national strategy for financial inclusion to deepen financial services’ in the nation. This strategy is expected to be finalised in 2019 for a period covering 5 years.
- RBI has also set up a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani,former Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI) chairman, to review the existing status of digitisation and devise a medium-term strategy for increasing digital payments, the report said.
About the EIU:
- Headquarters- London, United Kingdom(UK).
- Founded- 1946.
- Parent organization- Economist Group.