India’s RBI hits Twitter milestone in financial awareness drive

The Reserve Bank of India’s Twitter handle @RBI reached the million mark on Nov 22, Governor Shaktikanta Das said via a tweet. — Reuters

The Reserve Bank of India became the world’s only major central bank to gain one million followers on Twitter, boosting efforts to foster financial literacy in a society that is traditionally under-banked and vulnerable to frauds.

The bank’s Twitter handle @RBI reached the million mark on Nov 22, Governor Shaktikanta Das said via a tweet. That’s up from about 892,000 followers it had in June, and compares with about 678,000 followers for the US Federal Reserve, a little over 591,000 for the European Central Bank and a tad above 317,000 for the Bank of England.

Das has addressed press conferences virtually since the virus outbreak through the RBI’s YouTube channel and official Twitter account, making it a popular handle among investors and the general public.

The central bank recently launched a second Twitter, @RBIsays, and a Facebook page by the same name to ensure wider dissemination of public-awareness messages with the aim to promote digital payments, according to its annual report. It also roped in Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan to spread financial literacy among the masses.

About 80% of adults have access to a bank account in India now, a number that’s grown from around 53% in 2014, according to the Global Findex Report. While digital transactions and new users making cashless payments have seen an increase since the pandemic this year, there has been a general lack of awareness and poor digital literacy in the country, which has resulted in a growing number of frauds.

"The awareness campaign started with a message from the Reserve Bank’s Governor on the importance of using digital modes of payments: ‘Pay Digital, Stay Safe’,” the central bank’s annual report said in August. "It was followed by dissemination of Graphics Interchange Formats (GIFs) and caricatures on social media handles conveying messages in English, Hindi and eleven regional languages.” – Bloomberg

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