The no-frills accounts (NFA) focussed approach to financial inclusion has so far been largely ineffectual. What is really needed is a change of perspective. Providers need to think of the BC model as a “distributed banking model” rather than as a “financial inclusion drive” to meet regulatory compulsions or social objectives. In a branch of a nationalised bank in India, where all credit and savings products were being delivered through the BCs, there was not just an increase in business due to what was directly brought in by the BCs, but even an increase in regular walk-in business. Financial inclusion will naturally follow the establishment of an efficient, distributed banking channel.

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