Digital Payments Economy Key for India's Growth

Becoming a digital payments economy may be key for financial inclusion in India.

Times of India report that technology titan and co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates sees India leapfrog into a digital payments economy, with almost half the population using such platforms to transact and transfer money in three years. "I am very pleased with what I see. The basic pieces are there to drive money transfers and eventually payments," said Gates. He was speaking at Nasscom hosted panel discussion on `Transforming India through digital financial inclusion' in Delhi. Jayant Sinha, minister of state for finance, who was among the panelists with Gates said, "we are putting together a unique social security platform. We have solved the inclusion and access problem. Even 1,55,000 post office branches will be payment banks. The killer app for this platform is direct benefits transfer." Sinha was referring Aadhaar cards for solving the access problem and financial inclusion via the August 2014 launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana that helped open more than 100 million new bank accounts.

Emphasising that low cost of transaction is key to success of digital financial inclusion goal, minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha said that the government is also working on universal health insurance scheme similar to other social security scheme. "We are solving access problem with social security open architecture...We can now load whole host of other apps (applications) on the top of the platform that we are building," he said at a discussion titled Transforming India Trough Digital Financial Inclusion organised by Nasscom and Bill & Millinda Gates Foundation.

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