Ideas & Updates

Responsible Digitization of Women Merchants in Rural India for COVID-19 Recovery

© ©Hindustan Unilever’s Shakti Initiative

10 Recommendations from the Civil Society

As a G20 leader, India understands that an inclusive digital India can be built with a deep understanding of the rural realities. This demands a greater integration with the fintech ecosystem and by using the country’s thriving social infrastructure such as cooperative networks and self-help groups run by women. Women merchants in rural areas are an indispensable part of the country’s COVID-19 recovery. However, women merchants are not able to fully realize the benefits of digital payments and other related digital services.

Under the leadership of the Department of Economic Affairs, Union Ministry of Finance, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the United Nations-based Better Than Cash Alliance, 15 leaders from think-tanks, civil society organizations, and community networks identified opportunities to advance responsible digitization of women merchants and submitted their recommendations to the Government of India’s Interministerial Committee on FinTech.

These 10 recommendations, when implemented, can address many barriers that women merchants face and enable them to fully participate in the country’s growth story. It can further India’s progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The recommendations are in line with our global call to action on Reaching Financial Equality for Women and the Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines.