From The Desk
Of The Executive Director

Centre for Digital
Financial Inclusion

Colleagues in CDFI may have cause to feel nostalgic about a particular coffee house in South Delhi. It was out of this shop that one operated the ‘office’ in early days. As the idea of CDFI was taking shape, I would meet contacts here, gathering ideas, strategizing approaches, et al. Still looking for some office space, I would ask prospective team members over for a meeting here – to tell them (before telling others) what our organization meant to do, persuade them to share its vision and join our journey.

We were brimming with ideas. We wanted to be a thought leader and work on innovation and research projects – all at once. A little over two years into the journey, we have come a long way but much more needs to be done. And we are working on all areas that we set out for.

Today, we have funders, a strong in-house team and partners. And together, we collaborate conceptualize and develop innovative solutions for enabling DBT, financial inclusion and financial literacy. We conduct research studies to understand and analyse factors that could possibly lead to greater adoption and use of digital services by the poor.

Having laid the foundation we now want to move fast. We know there are many challenges, but we believe tomorrow beckons us with huge opportunities.

krishnan dharmarajan

  • The CDFI Approach

    The primary objective of the Centre is to reduce inequities in access and uptake of financial products and services. Therefore, the Centre’s entire approach is geared towards driving low value transactions (G2P, B2P and P2P) onto digital platforms. Increased low value transactions on digital platforms is likely to connect even weaker and vulnerable sections of society and rural areas to an organized payment ecosystem thereby creating their financial profile and facilitating in design of customized products and services for them. The network thus created by connecting individuals to an organized payment ecosystem is likely to reduce the costs associated with generating lead, acquiring, maintaining and servicing a low value and remote customer and the risks associated with delivery of other financial products and services such as credit, insurance etc. for the financial institutions. A low cost model will make financial products and services sustainable for all which will further proliferate the network.

  • Objectives

    CDFI advances the following objectives, all of which are aimed at poor, rural, or otherwise excluded population segments:

    Drive payments made to excluded population segments onto digital platforms

    Work with commercial providers to test and scale new digital payment innovations

    Develop and scale new digital payment use cases

    Analyse policy / program implementation frameworks to help create an enabling environment for digital financial inclusion

    Create public goods to accelerate diffusion of best practices

  • Vision

    To enable creation of a research and technology driven self-sustainable digital payments ecosystem that makes a range of financial products and services accessible to the under-serviced, excluded and poorer sections of society.


Our Workstreams

Reduce inequities in digital financial access and literacy through a series of research and innovation driven interventions

Innovation & Scale

Develop, test, roll-out and scale innovations that promise to expand access to digital financial services and products

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Programme Strategy and Support

Support creation of a favorable and conducive environment for promoting digital financial inclusion

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Analyse and understand factors facilitating adoption and usage of digital financial services by the poor

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Share learnings from interventions with other stakeholders to create a vibrant ecosystem

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Inclusion News
  • Banks may cut UPI charges for merchants

    In a boost for the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the government will push for a drop in this account-to-account platform's charges for merchants in the low-value segment. The government has also extended benefits under the referral scheme for the...

    The Times of India
  • RBI to come out with final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card payments

    Aimed at encouraging digital transactions, the Reserve Bank on Thursday said it will soon come out with final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card payments. Pending the final guidelines the existing norms for MDR (merchant discount rate) charges ...

    Business Standard
Head Office Address:
B35, Kiwanis Bhawan,
Block A, Qutub Institutional Area
New Delhi – 110 016
Branch Office Address:
135/5, 2nd Floor, 15th Cross
J P Nagar, 3rd Phase
Bengaluru – 560 078
Digital Innovation Lab Address:
Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
Bannerghatta Road
Bengaluru – 560 076

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