Women saved more money in Jan Dhan Yojana accounts as compared to men. As per an industry report, the average balances maintained by women exceeded that of men by over 30%. The study by Women’s World Banking and Bank of Baroda estimates that the public sector banks raked in Rs 25000 crore in deposits by extending services to 10 crore women from the low-income group under the scheme.
The report suggests that the banks should come up with products for women that will allow them to conquer constraints and successfully make small deposits. It recommends banks to promote awareness and urge customers to make use of their accounts and also calls for transforming the system to offer financial products to rural women.
The report also calls upon the banks to segregate the data pertaining to Jan Dhan Account in accordance with gender.
Sriraman Jagannathan, the executive vice president of Women’s World Banking, Asia, said that India is blessed to have something like the Jan Dhan Yojana scheme and it has the potential to be the largest women empowerment opportunity in the world.
Sanjiv Chadha, MD and CEO, Bank of Baroda said that a decent percentage of women, especially from the low-income group, still evade utilising the complete potential of their bank accounts. He added that these women still view bank accounts with the idea of just receiving and withdrawing cash and there lies immense untapped potential and unutilized opportunity from a banking standpoint. The Bank of Baroda had run a pilot project with a women-centric savings account which was linked to the Jan Dhan Yojana and that was immensely successful.
These are basic bank accounts sans any charges or requirements for a minimum balance. It caught the attention of a huge number of women who opened accounts when the Centre announced that it will be directly transferring Rs 500 every month to accounts of women during the pandemic. Jagannathan also stressed the need for retirement products for women as they are crucial since in most cases women outlive men and do not possess any financial assets.
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