BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, India

Indian ATMs and bank branches are falling short of hot demand

Rajasthan village has no banking infrastructure to serve its 5,500 residents.

Bloomberg reports that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious target of opening a bank account for every household has fallen short as rural areas are still left wanting for banking infrastructure following energetic efforts that have fizzled out in the past four years.

There were a 11,400 commercial bank branches and ATMs added in 2013-14 but growth has since lost momentum as only 2,500 branches were added in 2013-18. Meanwhile, there were 1,300 ATMs removed over the same period.

Also read: Indian banks ordered to streamline ATM security upgrades

India’s banking system still "lags in terms of physical infrastructure and has failed to reach the poor," according to a study from EY and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, which found nearly a fifth or (19%) of the population still lack access to the formal credit system.

For instance, villagers in Jogaliya in Rajasthan, India’s largest state by area, has no bank branch or ATM to serve its 5,500 people. The closest one is 15 kilometers away.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

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