What Is Small Finance Bank?

Are you curious to know what is small finance bank? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about small finance bank in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is small finance bank?

In the realm of banking, innovation and adaptation have paved the way for various specialized banking institutions, each catering to specific needs and niches. One such innovation is the concept of Small Finance Banks (SFBs), a category of banks in India that are designed to serve the unbanked and underbanked segments of the population. In this blog, we will explore what Small Finance Banks are, their unique features, and the role they play in promoting financial inclusion.

What Is Small Finance Bank?

Small Finance Banks, often abbreviated as SFBs, are a specialized category of banks in India. They were introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2015 to address the need for better financial services for marginalized and underserved sections of the society, including small businesses, micro and small industries, unorganized sector entities, low-income households, and more. SFBs are intended to provide a wide range of banking and financial services to these segments, promoting financial inclusion and economic growth.

Key Features Of Small Finance Banks

  1. Financial Inclusion: The primary objective of SFBs is to promote financial inclusion by offering a suite of banking services to individuals and entities that may not have access to traditional banking institutions.
  2. Service Focus: SFBs primarily cater to small businesses, micro and small industries, self-help groups, and low-income households. They often have a strong presence in rural and semi-urban areas.
  3. Basic Banking Services: SFBs provide basic banking services like savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, and remittances. They also offer credit facilities, including loans and advances.
  4. Technology-Driven: Many SFBs leverage technology to reach a wider customer base. They offer mobile banking, internet banking, and digital payment services to make banking accessible and convenient.
  5. Priority Sector Lending: SFBs are mandated to allocate a significant portion of their lending to priority sectors, such as agriculture, micro and small enterprises, and low-income housing.
  6. Capital Requirements: To ensure stability and financial soundness, SFBs are required to maintain a minimum paid-up capital and maintain a statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) as per RBI guidelines.
  7. Branch Network: SFBs typically have an extensive branch network, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, to serve their target customer segments effectively.

Role In Promoting Financial Inclusion

Small Finance Banks play a crucial role in promoting financial inclusion and economic development in India. Here’s how they contribute:

  1. Access to Banking Services: SFBs bridge the gap between the unbanked and the formal banking sector by providing access to essential financial services to previously underserved communities.
  2. Credit to Marginalized Sectors: They extend credit to priority sectors, including agriculture and small businesses, helping these sectors grow and thrive.
  3. Savings and Investments: SFBs encourage savings and investments among low-income households, fostering financial stability and wealth creation.
  4. Employment Generation: By supporting micro and small enterprises, SFBs contribute to employment generation, reducing unemployment rates in rural and semi-urban areas.
  5. Digital Banking: Leveraging technology, SFBs offer digital banking solutions that empower customers to access banking services conveniently, even in remote areas.


Small Finance Banks are a commendable initiative by the Reserve Bank of India to promote financial inclusion and economic development, particularly among underserved populations. Their commitment to reaching marginalized segments of society, coupled with technological innovation, makes them a crucial player in India’s evolving banking landscape. As they continue to grow and expand their reach, SFBs are likely to contribute significantly to improving the financial well-being of millions of individuals and small businesses across the country.


What Do You Mean By Small Finance Bank?

Small Finance Banks basically work as savings vehicles as well, as they are engaged in offering credit facilities to small business units, micro and small industries, small and marginal farmers and other unorganised sectors through their advanced technology & low-cost operations.

What Is Difference Between Bank And Small Finance Bank?

Payments Banks offer limited banking services such as deposit accounts, remittances, and debit card issuance. These banks cannot lend money. Small Finance Banks offer a wider range of financial services, including lending to micro-enterprises and to low-income households.

What Is Small Finance Banks With Examples?

Small finance banks are a class of niche banks that cater to the financial requirements of underserved sections. These include small and marginal farmers, entities in the unorganised sectors, and micro and small enterprises. Answer. As of now, there are a total of 11 small finance banks in India.

What Is A Small Finance Bank In Rbi?

Small Finance Banks is the type of niche bank created by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the country. In November 2014, the RBI first issued the guidelines of the Small Finance Banks. These banks have the license to provide basic banking services of accepting deposits from the public and lending money to the public.

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