Acknowledging India’s exponential growth in digital payments or the fintech sector, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honorable Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, said that India has the highest Fintech adoption rate of 87% as opposed to the global average rate of 64%, which establishes the fact that India is a prime destination for digital payments and activities.
Speaking at The Global FinTech Fest, organised by Fintech Convergence Council (FCC) and Payments Council of India (PCI), the two Councils of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), along with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the Finance Minister emphasised that the digital payments have seen a tremendous growth from INR 2 lakh crore worth of digital transactions in 2019 to INR 4 lakh crore in 2020. The last eight months from January to August 2021 saw further momentum, clocking INR 6 lakh crore worth of digital transactions with number of individual transactions at 355 crore, showing energetic participation from users, industry and the Government in the digital ecosystem. The Finance Minister underscored that the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to push digital payments.
Fintech startups are altering and remodeling itself to futuristic technologies for making India the Fintech destination. India has a combination of FinTechs innovating at a rapid pace with user’s eager to adopt digital platforms.
Finance Minister also unveiled the UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments at the Global Fintech Festival today and stated that “The UN Principles for Responsible Digital Payments is coming in at the right time, especially when countries are racing against each other to reach their maximum population with technology”.
“Under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has democratised financial services and accelerated the deployment of digital public good infrastructure that promotes financial inclusion and progress towards sustainable development goals,” said Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. She added, “The UN principles on digital payments have come at the right time and will serve as an important resource to all stakeholders in delivering digital payments based on the principles of trust, consent, privacy, transparency and choice for the end user.”
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is covered in the UN Principles as an example of how an open, inclusive, and an interoperable digital public good infrastructure can lead to greater economic participation by the society and especially women, in the most vulnerable times of crisis, by providing secure and contactless payments. The report revolves around consumer protection good practices that put users at the center of payment digitization, especially women and people living in rural areas who are more likely to find themselves outside the formal financial sector. The principles mentioned in the report are: safeguarding of data; recourse; transparency on pricing, interoperability within a digital payments ecosystem that treats everyone fairly; prioritizing women; ensuring products are designed for user needs; providing choice; and ensuring accountability to deliver on these vital tenets of responsibility.
The Finance Minister concluded the session by stating, “We are happy to support, strengthen and further the FinTech adoption in the country and the Government of India will be happy to associate with the Global FinTech Fest in the future.”
Mr. G Padmanabhan, Former Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India, Former Non-Executive Chairman, Bank of India, welcomed the Finance minister in his opening remarks and shared the financial achievements of India in last 5-6 years.
The Fest is presented by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Reserve Bank of India and supported by NITI Aayog, Central Bank of Kenya, Startup India and Invest India. The World Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), RBI Innovation Hub are the institutional partners of the summit. About 75 partners have collaborated for the summit, including Razorpay, Amazon Pay, WhatsApp, Google Pay, Open Digital Payments and Cashfree Payments.