India’s rapidly growing mobile infrastructure, the widespread coverage of Aadhar cards and the PM Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) created a strong push for digital inclusion in the last decade, with a growing number of platforms layering financial services. Bank account coverage rose to nearly 80% in 2018, but without adequate support on building the skills and capabilities of customers nearly half of these accounts stayed dormant. While Digital India initiatives have contributed significantly towards building strong opportunities for financial inclusion, access remains gendered and largely urban.

Through Swadhaar’s journey of nearly two decades in the Financial Literacy space, our consistent objective has been to address these gaps and help vulnerable customers, particularly women, work towards financial agency. In January 2022, Swadhaar was very pleased to launch FINACT – The Financial Inclusion Network for Training and Action.

Conceptualized as a hub for Financial Inclusion and Action, FINACT takes a human-centered approach to building financial capability and agency for women. Over a 3-year project period, Swadhaar will partner with leading sector experts to create behaviour science informed interventions, ensuring a holistic journey towards financial resilience and agency for a key segment of women. We will critically examine our existing training content, explore blended learning approaches, and build communities to sustain behavior change, with an overall objective to build a Resource Hub, and open access digital platform for trainer led capacity building, self-learning, and a sustainable network of programs and interventions.

Creating true impact and placing vulnerable clients, particularly women, at the centre of financial and digital inclusion

Critical lenses to build the FINACT approach