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Journal cover: International Journal of Bank Marketing

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Marketing

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Studying financial inclusion in north-east India

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Title:Studying financial inclusion in north-east India
Author(s):Disha Bhanot, (Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India), Varadraj Bapat, (Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India), Sasadhar Bera, (Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India)
Citation:Disha Bhanot, Varadraj Bapat, Sasadhar Bera, (2012) "Studying financial inclusion in north-east India", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 30 Iss: 6, pp.465 - 484
Keywords:Banking, Banks, Empirical study, Finance, India, Marketing strategy, Rural areas, Social inclusion
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/02652321211262221 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors are grateful to Ashish Bhave for his help in fieldwork management. Very special thanks to the authors' fellow brothers and sisters in the north-east who took time out to fill in the questionnaires. The authors also thank Professor Rajini R. Joshi (from the Department of Mathematics, IIT Bombay) for her help in enriching the interpretation of the results.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors which are crucial in determining the extent of financial inclusion in geographically remote areas. The study also aims to provide suggestive measures for banks to tap unexplored markets.

Design/methodology/approach – Primary data were collected via structured questionnaire from 411 households from the states of Assam and Meghalaya in north-east India. Factors significantly contributing to inclusion were identified using a logistic regression model.

Findings – Level of financial inclusion in north-east India remains very low. Income, financial information from various channels and awareness of self help groups (SHGs), and education are influential factors leading to inclusion. Nearness to post office banks increases the likelihood of inclusion. Factors like area terrain and receipt of government benefit individually do not facilitate inclusion. However, recipients of government benefits in plain areas show increased level of inclusion.

Research limitations/implications – The study was restricted to north-east India, which limits the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications – Banks and policy makers should work in close co-ordination to spread financial information as those efforts are seen to directly impact inclusion, thereby providing new business opportunities to banks.

Originality/value – Using primary data, this study explores the potential predictors of financial inclusion in geographically remote areas. The study is unique in capturing the conditional relationships among variables which are bound to exist in real life scenarios. The findings of the paper are valuable for banks and policy makers.

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