Blockchain, Adoption, and Financial Inclusion in India: Research Opportunities

Schuetz, S.W. and Venkatesh, V. “Blockchain, Adoption, and Financial Inclusion in India: Research Opportunities,” International Journal of Information Management (52), 2020, 101936.

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The economic development of rural India requires connecting remote villages to local and global supply chains. Yet, high rates of financial exclusion inhibit rural Indians from participating in these supply networks. We review the literature on financial inclusion, adoption, and blockchain in India, and posit that to resolve financial exclusion, the four challenges of geographical access, high cost, inappropriate banking products, and financial illiteracy need to be overcome. Next, we argue that blockchain technologies hold the potential to overcome most of these challenges. However, for blockchain technologies to become the cornerstone of financial inclusion initiatives, an understanding of technology adoption in India is needed. To guide the development of such understanding, we develop a research agenda on the antecedents of adoption, adoption patterns, and outcome of adoption. Answering these research questions will lead to a nuanced understanding of adoption of blockchain-based technologies in rural India. The practical contribution of this paper is the discussion of how blockchain can alleviate the issue of financial exclusion in rural India, thereby providing a basis for a solution that could connect rural Indians to global supply chain networks. The theoretical contribution lies in the identification of knowledge gaps that should be answered to achieve financial inclusion of rural Indians.
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