NITI Aayog, Mastercard release report on Connected Commerce

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 10, 2021

It identifies challenges in accelerating digital financial inclusion and provides recommendations to make digital services accessible to all citizens.

NITI Aayog and Mastercard have jointly released a report highlighting key elements of a roadmap India can follow to achieve the next level of digital transformation in the next three years.

This report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’ identifies challenges in accelerating digital financial inclusion in India and provides recommendations for making digital services accessible to its 1.3 billion citizens.

The report was released by NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant, Ajit Pai, Distinguished Expert and Head, Economics and Finance Cell, and Ravi Aurora, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Global Community Relations, Mastercard.

Key recommendations in the report include strengthening the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for NBFCs and banks; digitizing registration and compliance processes and diversifying credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs; building information sharing systems, including a ‘fraud repository’, and ensuring that online digital commerce platforms carry warnings to alert consumers to the risk of frauds; enabling agricultural NBFCs to access low-cost capital and deploy a ‘phygital’ (physical + digital) model for achieving better long-term digital outcomes. Digitising land records will also provide a major boost to the sector and to make city transit seamlessly accessible to all with minimal crowding and queues, leveraging existing smartphones and contactless cards, and aim for an inclusive, interoperable, and fully open system such as that of the London ‘Tube’.

In his opening remarks, Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, said, “Technology has been transformational, providing greater and easier access to financial services. India is seeing an increasing digitization of financial services, with consumers shifting from cash to cards, wallets, apps, and UPI. This report looks at some key sectors and areas that need digital disruptions to bring financial services to everyone.”

Between October and November, experts discussed ways to accelerate digital financial inclusion, enable global opportunities for MSMEs, inspire trust and security in digital commerce, prepare India’s agri-enterprises for connected commerce, and build robust transit systems for smart cities.

Published on May 10, 2021

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