Financial Inclusion of Disabled People: Challenges and Barriers

InM organised one FGD with a group of disabled people in May 2017 for identifying specific barriers and challenges in accessing financial services. From the FGD, it emerges that disabled persons face various problems while opening bank accounts. Banks and financial institutions are somewhat reluctant in providing financial services to these groups and they face harassments while accessing services. These persons with disabilities need ‘legal empowerment’ to manage their own affairs, including ability to enter into formal financial arrangements. For ensuring ‘proper’ behaviour of bank staff, service providers need training on raising awareness for dealing with persons with disabilities with care and dignity. The infrastructure of the premises should also be made ‘disable-friendly’ by removing access barriers. For example, ramps may be built for the disables. On the other hand, availability of information in Braille may be introduced for the blinds and sign language for the dumb people. The signs on the currency notes for the blind should be made more visible and prominent. These and similar other barriers should be kept in view while designing appropriate financial products for the disabled people.