Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Google plans to develop website 'Bharat Saves'; to help you save more and invest better


Google wants to align its Bharat Saves website to the government’s financial inclusion scheme.

Google wants to help you save more and invest better.

The US-headquartered technology company with a large India presence is planning to develop a website, Bharat Saves, which will offer information on financial planning.

Google wants to align its Bharat Saves website to the government's financial inclusion scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana, which has since its 2014 launch seen 24 crore new bank accounts being opened and attracted deposits of Rs 41,000 crore.

A senior finance ministry official, speaking off record, told ET that Google is in talks with the government and that the company's proposal is being "examined".

He said the digital platform "may provide a range of financial literacy tools and information on financial products".

A Google spokesperson told ET: "In line with the Prime Minister's vision to create greater financial inclusion-....various BFSI organisations and industry associations are coming together to launch a digital platform".

The spokesperson also said a financial literacy awareness campaign may be part of the plan. Bharat Saves will be an app and website, both of which are being designed by Google.

In the first leg, users have to log into either of the platforms and complete financial literacy modules.

They will need to take a financial literacy test, the certifications for which will be given by the Indian government, Google and an industry organisation.

Target Consumers for Google's Offering
These will open up a second section of the app/website, where users will be able to see, compare and purchase banking and insurance products. Eventually, more financial product categories will be added and the platform will be linked to PM's Jan Dhan Yojana.

The target consumers for this platform will be homemakers, small business owners, the newly employed, retired persons and farmers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met several technology company CEOs and deeper participation in the government's Digital India programme has been on the agenda in these meetings.

"There were some discussions on these issues when the PM met CEOs of top tech giants at the Digital India forum in San Jose, California during his visit to the US," an official familiar with the issue said.

India's savings rate has fallen recently - IMF data shows a fall from 36 per cent of GDP to 31 per cent GDP between 2007-08 and now. Household savings have also fallen, with other data showing households save less than a quarter of their disposable income, down from over 30 per cent around four years back.

While stagnant income in real terms/high inflation for many social classes has been identified as a recent factor for drop in the savings rate, economists have long argued that lack of access to modern financial instruments is also a structural contributory factor.

Source: EtTelecom


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