By 2023, 300 million Indians will transact on digital platforms by 2023: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

At the Global Fintech Fest organised by IAMAI, PhonePe founder revealed that 60 percent of new users over the last year were from smaller towns, and the COVID-19 situation has only accelerated digital adoption.

India is going to be a leading provider of digital financial services with continuous innovation lending, payment, and insurance verticals, said Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog — the government policy-making think tank. While speaking at the Global Fintech Fest organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), he said that the number of Indians who transact digitally–through fintech platforms–will have a three-fold increase in three years to 300 million.

Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog

"If you see Google's recent investment in India is testimony to the opportunity in the country. The COVID-19 situation has spurred contactless payments across all segments. Today, you see small merchants and grocery stores owners accepting digital payments," said Amitabh Kant.

Over 1.3 billion transactions take place on UPI in India, which, in the next five years, is preparing for one billion transactions a day. NITI Aayog also believes India can give $1 trillion digital loans by 2023.

Speaking to Amitabh Kant was Sameer Nigam, Co-founder of PhonePe, who added that PhonePe has three million small merchants transacting on their platform.

"Most of our new users were acquired organically and we saw increased digital adoption over the last four months," says Sameer.

The NITI Aayog CEO admitted that he wished he could be an entrepreneur had he not been in the Indian Administrative Service. "The fintech entrepreneurs in India have been doing a great job in increasing digital lending. However, they need to use data for better due diligence. Data is key to infuse more capital in the market. The government also has to sit with startups and figure out how they can look at a model beyond merchant discount rates," he added.

The RBI appointed Nilekani Committee to study the "deepening of digital payments in India", and recommends removals of transaction charges on digital payments made to the government, inducing a reduced Merchant Discount Rates (MDR) pricing. It also proposes easing KYC costs to banks.

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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