February 29, 2024

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India Launches Campaign to Boost Digital Payments

The Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, launched the Digital Payments Utsav, a comprehensive campaign aimed at promoting digital payments across India. According to a press release, the Digital Payments Utsav aims to showcase India’s journey of digital transformation, with a series of events and initiatives to be held from 9 February to 9 October.

The focus of the campaign will be on promoting digital payments in the country, especially in the cities of Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru, as part of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) event.

The launch of the Digital Payments Utsav marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to promote digital payments and drive digital transformation in India. The comprehensive campaign is expected to bring together various stakeholders, including the government, industry, and citizens, to drive the growth of the digital economy and promote financial inclusion.

At the event, Vaishnaw shared his vision of the complete rollout of the digital credit system in 2023 and directed NPCI to take the lead in this direction. He announced Mission Bhashini, which brings together the national language translation mission and digital payments. It makes Unified Payment Interface (UPI) 123 Pay available in local languages, enabling people to make payments in their local language interface through voice.

The MeitY Secretary, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, spoke to the gathering about the ongoing efforts to expand the reach of the UPI in India and beyond. He said the government aims to concentrate on unconnected areas of India and make UPI a global payment method.

He highlighted that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has already taken steps in this direction by partnering with countries such as Nepal, Singapore, Bhutan, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Furthermore, UPI services will soon be available to non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in 10 countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, the UK, and the USA.

Several significant initiatives were launched during the event, including a G20 Co-branded QR code, a G20 edition of the preloaded RuPay On-The-Go device, innovative products from banks and fintechs, and a joint campaign by MeitY and Delhi Police to promote secure digital payments.

In addition, 28 DigiDhan Awards were presented to top-performing banks, bankers, and fintech companies in different categories for their performance in the digital payments space. The awards recognise the efforts of these organisations in promoting digital payments and contributing to the growth of the digital economy.

The event ended with the flag-off of the Digital Payment Sandesh Yatra, which will tour the country to educate citizens about digital payments and their security. The yatra is an important aspect of the Digital Payments Utsav and will help increase awareness and adoption of digital payments in India.

During the last three years, digital payment transactions have registered unprecedented growth in India. Easy and convenient modes of digital payment, such as Bharat Interface for Money-Unified Payments Interface (BHIM-UPI), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), pre-paid payment instruments (PPIs), and National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) system have registered substantial growth and have transformed the digital payment ecosystem by increasing person-to-person (P2P) as well as person-to-merchant (P2M) payments.

At the same time, pre-existing payment modes such as debit cards, credit cards, national electronic funds transfer (NEFT), and real-time gross settlement (RTGS) have grown at a fast pace.


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