It’s Time to Convert Fintech Initiatives into a Revolution : PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it was time to convert fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution, to ensure every citizen became empowered financially. The fintech industry has achieved huge scale and has been accepted by the masses, Modi said while inaugurating the InFinity Forum, organised by Bloomberg and the International Financial Services Centres Authority.

“Now, it is time to convert these fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution — a revolution that helps to achieve financial empowerment of every single citizen of the country,” the Prime Minister said. Asserting that technology was bringing about a big shift in finance, Modi said mobile payments last year exceeded ATM cash withdrawals.

Citing another example, he said, fully digital banks without any physical branches are already a reality and may become commonplace in less than a decade. “As humans evolved, so did the form of our transactions. From barter system to metals, from coins to notes, from cheques to cards, today we have reached here,” he pointed out. India has proved to the world that it is second to none in adopting technology, Modi said, adding that transformational initiatives under Digital India have opened doors for innovative fintech solutions to be applied in governance.

Sharing India's financial inclusion drive led by technology, he said India has almost universalised bank account coverage with 430 million Jan Dhan accounts in the last seven years, from less than 50% of Indians having accounts in 2014.

He also listed initiatives like 690 million RuPay cards, clocking1.3 billion transactions last year; UPI processing around 4.2 billion transactions last month, and nearly 300 million invoices being uploaded on the GST portal every month.

Emphasising that financial inclusion was the driver of the fintech revolution, he said fintech rests on four pillars — income, investments, insurance and institutional credit.

“When income grows, investment becomes possible. Insurance coverage enables greater risk-taking ability and investments. Institutional credit gives wings for expansion. And we have worked on each of these pillars. When all these factors come together, you suddenly find so many more people participating in the financial sector,” Modi said.

Highlighting the importance of trust in fintech in the light of the wide acceptance of these innovations, the Prime Minister said the common man had shown immense trust in the ecosystem by embracing digital payments and other such technologies.

“This trust is a responsibility. Trust means that you need to ensure that the interests of the people are secured. Fintech innovation will be incomplete without fintech security innovation,” he noted. Modi said India believes in sharing its experiences and expertise with the world and learning from them as well.

“Our digital public infrastructure solutions can improve the lives of people. UPI and RuPay provide an unparalleled opportunity for every country, an opportunity to provide a low-cost and reliable 'real-time payment system' as well as a domestic card scheme and fund remittance system,” he added.

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