RBI Financial Inclusion Index – here’s what it means and why it is important

RBI Financial Inclusion Index – here’s what it means and why it is important
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  • RBI has come out with its financial inclusion index for 2022, showing where India stands when it comes to making its financial products accessible.
  • While this is the second year of the FI Index, RBI has calculated data since 2017, showing an improvement every year.
  • Here’s what financial inclusion index is all about and why it is important.
The Reserve Bank of India has released the Financial Inclusion Index for 2022, underlining how well financial products and services can be accessed by the general population.

The index shows an improvement to 56.4 from 53.9 in 2021 across indices like access, usage and equality. The index, which was first announced in 2021, does not have a base year unlike the cost inflation index.

What is the RBI Financial Inclusion Index?

RBI’s financial inclusion index measures the ease of access, affordability and availability of various financial products and services by individuals as well as businesses. Essentially, it tracks how well the financial services have been extended to the unbanked population of the country.

The index ranges between 0 and 100, with 0 meaning complete financial exclusion and 100 meaning complete financial inclusion. RBI tracks 97 indicators and divides them into three sub-indices – access, usage and equality – with weights of 35, 45, and 20, respectively.


The index covers banking, investment, insurance, postal and pension sectors, tracking their delivery and usage amongst the population.

What does financial inclusion mean?

At its very core, financial inclusion means access to banks, ATMs, banking executives, point of sales terminals and transacting online, via UPI, cards, net banking and other modes.

Essentially, financial inclusion should result in people being able to access financial services without any hindrance.

What does the financial inclusion index mean?

As the name suggests, the index tracks whether the government is able to deliver financial products equally amongst the population and how usable those products are.

Making a product available and accessible to everyone with an equal opportunity does not mean it is usable in the same way by different sections of the society. This is also why the ‘usage’ index carries nearly half the weight of the total index.

At 56.4, RBI and the Indian government have their task cut out. While financial products are largely accessible – the access sub-index stood at 73.3 – the usage and equality indices have dragged down the overall index, meaning vulnerable groups and weaker sections of the society are still unable to use banking, credit and other services.

The JAM trinity – Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile – have enabled the Indian government to improve financial inclusion from 43.4 in 2017 to 56.4 in 2022. Although RBI released the first results in 2021, it has released its calculations from 2017 onwards.

The government launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in August 2014, allowing unbanked people to open no-frills zero balance accounts. Till date, 308.4 million such accounts have been opened under PMJDY.

RBI says it expects to release the FI Index data every year in July.


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