Report: Accelerating digital payments and deepening financial inclusion (A USIBC-PwC Initiative)

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, hosted its first symposium on ‘Accelerating Digital Payments and Deepening Financial Inclusion’ on March 29, 2017 in New Delhi.

The symposium brought together a large number of stakeholders, including senior government officials, industry leaders and financial experts, to discuss challenges that exist in accelerating digital payments and advancing financial inclusion. The symposium included discussions on developing a vibrant digital payments ecosystem; enabling a robust and secure digital payments framework; ensuring last mile connectivity to maximize consumer access; and charting an innovative path for financial inclusion and the financial health of Indian consumers. The United States has been a leader in digital payments, with a number of American companies at the forefront of innovation.

Companies such as PayPal, Mastercard and American Express have disrupted markets globally and can add tremendous value to India with their rich experience. Further, American companies in India have been contributing to India’s digital economy. India and the U.S. have increased their bilateral engagements on the sharing of technology, digital transformation and financial inclusion to support “Digital India”. Further, there are opportunities for increased collaboration and policy intervention to create a more conducive environment for innovation, digitization and financial inclusion.

The ‘catalyst’ initiative between the Government of India and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to expand digital payments and financial inclusion in India, especially for small merchants and low-income consumers. Every economy is built on trust, and a digital economy more so. The security of digital financial transactions against fraud, data theft, phishing and cyberattacks remains a key concern.

This USIBC-PwC report focuses on the challenges in the digital payments ecosystem and outlines a few areas for policy intervention that are necessary to ensure that all Indian citizens participate in the digital drive. We hope you find the report insightful.

Download the report below.