At 87%, fintech adoption in India higher than global average: FM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 28, 2021

People’s readiness to take tech on board behind outcome, says Sitharaman

India has recorded digital transactions of ₹6-lakh crore in January-August this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

Addressing the Global Fintech Fest 2021, organised virtually by IAMAI, Fintech Convergence Council and Payments Council of India, Sitharaman said fintech adoption rate in India stood at 87 per cent, much higher than the global average of 64 per cent. “India is the prime destination for digital activities,” she said.

She highlighted that the number of digital transactions in the January-August 2021 period stood at 355 crore.

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“India — both from the people and the government — is seeing energetic participation. The government is giving the push and people are wanting to adapt to it. Things are moving in a joyful way (on digital adoption and payments), although in 2020, I would say it (digital payments) was pushed more because of necessity,” Sitharaman said.

Fintechs are proving themselves on the ground in India, Sitharaman said, noting that India stack was maturing on the strength of users, be they government or public.

‘Accessible to all’

Sitharaman also asserted that it was not literacy, numeracy or knowledge that led to increased adoption of technology, but it was “more adapting with a mindset of being ready to take technology on board” that yielded the desired outcomes. “This has helped during the pandemic and all merchants have adopted. Today technology is not out of any section’s reach. Fintechs are updating it with improved solutions”, she added.

She also said India stack had actually played out in pleasantly unexpected ways and enabled the government to move money into accounts of people in far-flung areas with lots of confidence. “This comfort of using the mature and well-layered payment system helped the government”, Sitharaman added.

On the occasion, Sitharaman also launched a report on UN Principles for Responsible Digital payments. She said this report was coming at the right time, especially when many countries are racing with one another to reach out to their maximum population with technology. “The guiding principles brought out by the UN report are applicable to the government, user and industry and this is the need of the hour. We need all our governments to understand that in our desire to bring interoperable system, which has to be pushed for achieving transparency, we shouldn’t be in a hurry to compromise on any of the features (principles enshrined in the report)”, she said.

Published on September 28, 2021

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