Women’s World Banking and Bank of Baroda roll out ‘Baroda Jan Dhan Plus’ in UP and Uttarakhand

Bank of Baroda, one of India’s leading public sector banks, has partnered with Women’s World Banking (WWB), a global non-profit organization committed to giving low-income women access to financial tools for long-term financial security and prosperity, to roll out the third and broader phase of the “Baroda Jan Dhan Plus” program in 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh and all 13 districts of Uttarakhand. The third and largest phase of “Baroda Jan Dhan Plus” will reach a large base of existing Bank of Baroda Jan Dhan customers through financial education camps and business correspondents, to spread the benefits of savings and to provide access to formal credit through PMJDY Overdraft Facility and other social security schemes. The program will also train and work with over 2,000 Business Correspondents (BCs) and 1,000 BC Sakhis (Business Correspondents) to empower them to help clients in their regions.

“Baroda Jan Dhan Plus” builds on the robust infrastructure of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which has brought about 25.11 crores or 251.1 million women into the banking ecosystem with Jan Dhan bank accounts . These women account holders need a strong reason to engage meaningfully with banks to reap the benefits of full financial inclusion. ‘Baroda Jan Dhan Plus’ brings a compelling proposition to encourage women account holders to save money systematically by motivating them to deposit 500 per month for five months, building a relationship that can lead to a PMJDY overdraft loan facility of up to 10,000.

The ‘Baroda Jan Dhan Plus’ model is based on 3 fundamental pillars: making the banking ecosystem a welcoming ecosystem for low-income women, making savings relevant and rewarding for women, and training and building the capacity of corresponding agents commercial (BC) on soft skills. with a gender focus to enable them to better understand and meet the needs of female clients. Banks, in turn, learn more about a large customer base and how to effectively address this segment with personalized products and services.

Shri Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, Executive Director of Bank of Baroda, said, “The financial inclusion of women, especially low-income women, requires a more nuanced approach. A long-term approach that involves continued commitment and the creation of an enabling environment is essential. Jan Dhan Plus’, created in collaboration with Women’s World Banking, is a tested approach to going beyond financial inclusion to help women achieve financial empowerment by opening access to a broader bouquet of ‘PMJDY benefits and not just to a bank account.’

The first two pilot projects of “Baroda Jan Dhan Plus” were conducted with 170 branches of Bank of Baroda (with over 650 BC and over 100 BC Sakhis) in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh between January 2020 and January 2022. The pilots highlighted that when financial products and services are designed to overcome female-centric barriers, they successfully engage women as well as the entire customer base.

Speaking about the programme, Ms. Kalpana Ajayan, Regional Manager, South Asia, Women’s World Banking said, “Women are among the most active and committed savers in society and in many cases hold the key to household savings and financial resilience. From the beginning, we recognized that women account holders are an extremely important customer base for the financial industry and if we can encourage them to become confident participants in the banking industry, we can create significant opportunities for women as well as women. financial service providers and the economy as a whole. We are encouraged to see a leading institution like Bank of Baroda moving forward. We would also like to thank the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the Visa Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who helped incubate the project and are also supporting us in scaling it.”

Michael J. Birnbaum