ET Financial Inclusion Summit: For a digital India, rules should aim at desired outcomes

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and periods of forced self-isolation, digital payments have become the default option for a significant portion of the population.

According to Nikhil Sahni, Mastercard’s division president for South Asia,

The number and value of paper-based instruments such as checks have decreased in the last financial year, while retail digital payments lead by UPI-based transactions have improved.

“In terms of digital payments, internet access, smartphone ownership, and provision for Jan Dhan accounts, which the prime minister himself envisioned, have all been milestones in the right direction.

Paper instruments such as checks saw a 35 percent drop in volume and a 28 percent drop in value in the previous fiscal year. At the same time, retail digital payments increased by 16 percent, with UPI-based payments doubling.

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“Spending on digital infrastructure by the government at a time when private consumption is fundamentally declining would promote economic development and have a multiplier effect, making economic activity considerably more efficient and environmentally sustainable.

To make payments across devices without fear of fraud.

The government must establish a regulatory framework that allows for platform interoperability, allowing people and businesses to make payments across devices without fear of fraud.

Regulations should aim for desirable outcomes regardless of who delivers them, and establish circumstances for competition and collaboration where necessary. We need data protection regulations that encourage ethical behavior while not penalizing individuals or gamers to the detriment of the entire community,” he stated.

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After offering digital payments to 1 billion people between 2014 and 2020, Mastercard wants to convert 1 billion people and businesses around the world in the next four years.

“Our commitment to financial inclusion is part of a larger social commitment…

Mastercard is excited to work with the government and other stakeholders to make India truly digital,” says the company.