Ideas & Updates

India Digital Payments Learning Exchange Series

Digital payments are powering economic response and recovery in COVID-19.

The Government of India has leveraged digital payments and effectively channeled US$ 22.5 billion in welfare payments to migrant laborers, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and women from vulnerable communities. Businesses and merchants have gone online, with a steep rise in e-commerce including in rural areas.

As the COVID-19 response shifts to recovery, leadership of State Governments is critical, while working proactively with the Centre, the private sector, the fintech innovators, and the civil society.

The UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance organized a peer exchange learning series to highlight the central and state government initiatives in responsible digital payments and facilitate learning to accelerate service delivery and digital financial inclusion.

Focus: Prioritize Women Merchants

Merchant Digitization Summit 2021: Towards AatmaNirbharta (Self-Reliance) in Himalayan, North East Regions, and Aspirational Districts of India

The Government of India, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the Better Than Cash Alliance hosted the “Merchant Digitization Summit 2021: Towards AatmaNirbharta (Self-Reliance)”. The Summit brought together leaders from the public and private sectors, and the civil society to make commitments toward the responsible merchant digitization agenda in India’s North-Eastern and Himalayan regions, and Aspirational districts. Empowering women merchants who play critical roles in their communities is one of the priorities to help achieve the mission of Digital India.

Press Release

View partner commitments to prioritize women merchants:

FICCI | MeitY | Telengana State | NPCI | SEWA

Focus: Treat Users Fairly

Accelerating Responsible Digital Payments: Unlocking Fintech in Last Mile Service Delivery

The second learning exchange, in partnership with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, focused on the role of fintech in accelerating responsible digital payments at the last mile. We hosted leaders of Central and State Governments to deliberate on the opportunities and the role of fintech in enabling digitization in sectors of national importance – land, agriculture, financial inclusion, among others. State governments of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, and Himachal Pradesh presented learning from successful fintech partnerships. Representatives from the Centre, made presentations on Open Application Programming Interface (APIs), Smart City Cards, Blockchain use cases, Account Aggregator Ecosystem and other.

Press Release

Focus: Responsibility Across the Value Chain

Title: Digital Payments in Agriculture: State Leadership Critical for Enabling Local Ecosystem

The first learning exchange, in partnership with India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, focused on digital payments in agriculture and how farmers can benefit from it. We hosted senior government officials from 16 states. Representatives from Assam, Kashmir, and Telangana discussed digitization initiatives in the tea sector, apple farming, and e-commerce marketplaces, respectively.

Focus: Digitize Government Payments as a way towards Reaching Financial Equality

Strengthening the Digital Infrastructure for Social Transfers in India’s North East

In 2019, the states of Tripura and Manipur, with the Better Than Cash Alliance and India’s Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) Mission, undertook an initiative to support the on-ground implementation of key DBT schemes in Manipur and Tripura. The learning session, co-organized with the DBT Mission and Niti Aayog, for the North East region, brought together stakeholders from all the northeastern states, key central ministries, government departments, and financial institutions to share the experience from Manipur and Tripura.