Digital Banking Current Affairs - 2020

GoI to increase reach of banking in the North-East Tea Garden areas

On February 27, 2020, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced that the banking in the North East Region is to be increased.

Highlights

The minister in a meeting with economists, trade and industry representatives and policy experts announced that the banking in the tea garden regions of the north east is to be increased. This is being done to cover greater population of the North East under Financial Inclusion.

Background

The main challenge in implementing Financial Inclusive schemes in the tea gardens of Assam or any other tea-based region is daily wages. The tea garden workers prefer cash in hand. This is mainly because most of the workers here are women and are illiterate.

In 2016, when digital India was being implemented widely all over India, discussions were held to direct Assam Gramin Vikas Bank and State Bank of india to overcome the problem of daily wagers and their demand for cash in hand. However, the results were not as expected. Therefore, the GoI has now decided to increase the banking services and infrastructure to increase banking in the region.

EASE 3.0 launched by the Finance Minister to enhance Ease of Banking

On February 26, 2020, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman launched Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE 3.0). It was launched along with the annual report of EASE 2.0 at a function organized by Indian Banks’ Association.

Highlights

The main aim of EASE 3.0 is to make public sector banking technology enabled and smart. By this the initiative intends to achieve ease of banking for customers. Along with its launch, the GoI has also warned about the over reliance of the state-run banks on credit rating agencies while sanctioning loans.

What is EASE?

EASE is set of technology-based banking reforms. It aims at improvising banking sector with technology. It ensures wider financial inclusion, better banking experience and easier credit distribution.

Significance

The initiative will enhance paperless, digital banking. It will also support other GoI initiatives such as Udyami Mitra, credit take-off, Dial-a-loan and credit at a click. EASE will increase the reach all these initiatives and improve the standards of banking sector.