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Unbanked to banked: reintermediation role of banks in e-government services for financial inclusion in an Indian context

Jessy Nair (Faculty of Management Studies (MBA), PES University, Bangalore, India)
Mohith Kumar Jain (Department of Management Studies, PES University, Bangalore, India)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 31 May 2021

Issue publication date: 23 March 2022

324

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to develop a framework to implement electronic delivery systems for connecting federal government with rural citizens using banking infrastructure as a reintermediation platform; and second, to understand the challenges faced by banks in reintermediation for financial inclusion (FI).

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory research adopts case study method to gain insights of the challenges faced by banks in e-government services for FI. In-depth structured interviews are conducted with key respondents: branch managers heading banks in rural areas.

Findings

Preliminary results based on in-depth interviews with branch managers of banks suggest that banks leverage facilitators called Bank Mitras (BM) (friends from bank as per the local language) to disseminate services offered by the banks to rural customers at each village. However, a key challenge faced by banks is the increased dependency on bank employees to complete the process of e-government transactions by the beneficiaries because of trust factor.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory research builds on the case study approach using in-depth interviews with the branch managers of five banks as key respondents to develop the preliminary research framework for FI.

Practical implications

Policymakers can design banking systems to enhance transparency by implementing technologies and decentralizing routine transactions to citizens by enhancing the role of facilitators (BM).

Social implications

FI aims to reach out and empower citizens with banking facilities for disbursing e-government services. This process needs to be refined for the rural population of India to understand and better use the e-government services and schemes.

Originality/value

Insights from in-depth interviews with key respondents of the banks were collated and augmented with literature to enhance the rigor of the exploratory research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We would like to profusely thank the anonymous reviewers for their rigorous review and insights which have helped us re-shape the research article. We are indebted to their valuable scrutiny of the research article and hope to have incorporated the mentioned feedback.

Citation

Nair, J. and Jain, M.K. (2022), "Unbanked to banked: reintermediation role of banks in e-government services for financial inclusion in an Indian context", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 354-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/JABS-10-2020-0420

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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