The Asia Pacific region alone sees $17 trillion worth of payment flows, which are yet to be digitised. This represents an unprecedented opportunity in the region for innovation and financial inclusion in the payments landscape. YourStory’s Shradha Sharma recently caught up with Arvind Ronta, Head of Products, India and South Asia, Visa, to discuss the opportunity and understand how Visa is working with fintech startups to leverage tech to power financial inclusion.
Financial inclusion is a simple idea that allows people and businesses to access secure, convenient and affordable payment and other financial services, and use them to meet everyday needs and long-term goals.
Simple, but not easy. Today, about half the adult world lives in the informal economy, dealing exclusively in cash. To be one of these estimated two billion people is to face financial barriers that make life risky, expensive and inefficient. Financial inclusion helps put people on a path out of poverty, creates productive empowered citizens, fosters business opportunities and fuels economic growth.
For Visa, financial inclusion means more than just solving for the end-consumer. It means including the fintech, banking and neo banking ecosystems in solving for financial inclusion. “When you are a market leader, the goal is not to protect the market share, but to grow the market,” says Arvind.
“Visa works with client banks and other financial institutions, technology innovators and retailers to develop, test and scale digital solutions that reach under-banked and underserved people and businesses. The Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) is a leading global innovation programme. Last year, the initiative saw fintech startups from across India provide innovative solutions in the areas of digital issuance, small merchant growth, and B2B payments value chain. Our Fintech Fast-Track programme supports fintechs in Asia Pacific that are developing the next generation of digital payment solutions. They can now onboard to our global network in as little as four weeks. The Visa Developer Programme provides direct access to Visa’s APIs, tools and expertise. Visa Safe Click is another innovation of ours. It’s the first in-app device-based network authentication solution in the world and it will eliminate the need for One Time Passwords (OTP) for transactions up to Rs. 2,000 to reduce the steps in the payment system,” adds Arvind.
Having spent the last 60 years connecting hundreds of millions of people and organisations to a global system that enables fast, safe and reliable financial transactions, Visa is well-positioned with reach, insights and technical capacity to advance financial inclusion.