IDFC Foundation

Rural Livelihoods & Development Project

The proposal is for the Foundation to provide funding support, financial literacy and employment opportunity to 30,000-40,000 people in rural India in 450 districts of the country by March 2020 and through this network also drive a significant improvement in access to basic banking & payments services in the rural India

Quick Glance

Building financial literacy and employment opportunities in rural India through a nation-wide, completely interoperable, public payment infrastructure; significantly improving digital access to banking and payment services in the deeper rural India.

Envisioned Impact

  • job
    30,000 jobs created in rural India
  • rupee
    180 crores p.a. of income generated
  • banking
    450 districts enjoy better banking services
  • cashless
    Great leap towards cashless economy
The thought

The Thought


The government is driving several initiatives to take the financial inclusion agenda forward. PMJDY has drastically increased the number of people with Bank accounts. The linkage of the Aadhaar card with bank accounts has made it possible to deliver grassroots subsidies directly and reach the target entities electronically.

However, PMJDY accounts remain substantially unutilized and electronic transfer of government benefits has not gained as much traction as it should because of big gaps in the infrastructure for payments especially in rural India. A very large segment of the population does not have easy access to their bank accounts to withdraw or deposit cash and the infrastructure for electronic payments is very sparse. IDFC Foundation aims to address this challenge at scale. Quote

The Approach

The project envisages creating a completely interoperable payment mechanism in the rural areas (Tier 2 - 6 villages as per RBI definition) of 450 districts in India by March 2020. For delivering on this vision, IDFC Foundation will educate between 30,000-40,000 people on all aspects of financial literacy, skill these people to operate Aadhaar enabled, digitally connected tablets & other similar devices and grant fund (in the form of a free Financial Inclusion Device (FID)) all individuals who are selected to become Mitras. When all these three activities are delivered as an integrated program by the Foundation under its flagship project - Rural Livelihoods & Development Program, it will enable these individuals to generate meaningful, sustainable income and become fully contributing members of our rural society.

The Program has four parts:

• Digital Skilling

• Financial Literacy

• Grant Funding a Financial Inclusion Device (FID)

• Becoming a Mitra

IDFC Foundation will raise funding from various sources listed below:

• IDFC Group Companies

• From the CSR grants of other corporates

• From Local and International NGO’s

• From individuals throwing crowd funding initiatives

For interest in contributing to this cause – please drop in your contact details here

Envisioned Impact

The impact of this flagship program will play out in two time frames:


a. Creation of 30,000 jobs in rural India and income generation of approximately ₹180 crores per annum (assumption that each Mitra will earn approximately ₹5000/- per month through transaction fees).

b. Improvement in use of Banking services in these districts through the densification of payment infrastructure in these 450 districts. This will substantially improve availability and accessibility of payment points for rural citizens.

c. More effective use of PMJDY and better embedding of the DBT initiative.

d. Improved financial literacy and inclusion in these 450 districts and contribute substantially to improving livelihoods.


a. Improved access to formal credit (which is cheaper) and therefore an overall improvement in income earning capacity of rural populations.

b. Significant support to the Aadhaar program through the creation of a distributed ecosystem that allows individuals to update Aadhaar and keep it accurate (e.g. telephone numbers).

c. Increased delivery of other public services using the digital interface created through the Aadhaar linked Financial Inclusion Devices (FIDs).

d. Substantial push towards a cashless economy.

Project Updates

IDFC Foundation, has entered into a strategic partnership with National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) to promote Financial Inclusion at the national level.

NISM was promoted as a Public Trust by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2006 and carries out a wide range of capacity building activities.

The partnership aims at benefitting 1 million beneficiaries in the next three years through high quality Financial Education and Inclusion services.

Dr. N.S. Rajan, CEO of IDFC Foundation and Mr. Sandip Ghose, Director, NISM signed the MoU on 15th January,2018.

Our Gallery