Financial Literacy: The Key to Empowerment and Economic Growth

355

Financial inclusion is crucial for global economic growth and poverty eradication. With around 1.7 billion people worldwide lacking access to formal financial services, digital technologies have played a pivotal role in expanding financial inclusion. Digital payment options have revolutionized the way underserved populations access financial services, offering more economical and secure alternatives to traditional banking services.

Challenges and Solutions for Expanding Financial Inclusion

Despite the benefits of digital payments, the unbanked population’s low level of digital literacy makes it difficult for them to use these alternatives. Infrastructure and connectivity are essential for facilitating the adoption of digital payments in remote locations, while building trust in digital payment systems is crucial to dispelling the population’s misgivings about their security. Promoting financial inclusion requires effective policy frameworks and regulations, as well as initiatives like the collaboration between Mobilink Bank and iConsult to enhance financial literacy in KPK, Pakistan.

Empowering Women through Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is a pathway to unlocking opportunities and creating an equitable financial landscape, particularly for women. Access to education, resources, assets, land, family, social and economic support, and economic independence are important factors for women’s empowerment. Programs such as We Empower Asia, Women’s Entrepreneurship Facility, Women’s Empowerment Principles, and Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Initiative aim to empower women entrepreneurs and provide access to resources, markets, and capital.

India’s Efforts to Promote Financial Inclusion

India has been actively involved in the G20 GPFI and has implemented various policy measures to promote financial inclusion, such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). The PMMY scheme has granted Rs 23.2 trillion (US$283.8 billion) worth of loans to over 408 million beneficiaries since its inception in 2015. However, financial illiteracy, information asymmetry, vulnerability to financial fraud, and the digital financial divide still need to be addressed to achieve inclusive economic growth.

Addressing the Financial Literacy Gap

Recent research suggests that financial inclusion programs like the PMJDY have a noticeable impact on households, but the financial literacy gap needs to be addressed to ensure that individuals can fully benefit from these programs. By promoting financial literacy and empowering individuals, particularly women, increased economic participation can lead to increased economic growth, improved health outcomes, and increased access to education, ultimately contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.