With new initiatives in the pipeline, India looks set to remain the real-time payments capital of the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ dream is rolling out in full swing as digital payments in India double in a year and the country maintains its position as a world leader in real-time financial transactions in the current year as well. While the volume of real-time transactions doubled this year, the value of transactions grew by 80 percent, said a report by FIS. With new initiatives in the pipeline, India looks set to remain the real-time payments capital of the world, the report added. In order to bring the poor, and particularly women, into the banking fold, the government announced a major scheme called Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) in August 2014 as a national mission for financial inclusion.
PMJDY, along with Aadhaar card and a major push for digital and real-time payments is continuing to play a vital role in promoting financial inclusion and wider engagement with rural communities, CS Shetty, MD, SBI, said in the report. While Jan Dhan accounts have become the default channel for delivery of digital and real-time financial solutions to rural communities, the UPI has done more for digital India and financial inclusion than many other standalone projects, CS Shetty added.
COVID-19 could be the “demonetization moment” for digital services delivery in India, but while there is still a difference in adoption between urban and rural communities, the growth of digital payments has been driven by increasing financial literacy, convenience, robust digital infrastructure, etc, he further said. After the coronavirus pandemic hit India, businesses across the country realised the need for including digital services into their businesses. Consequently, companies are rapidly investing in digital technologies to stay afloat during challenging times.
Meanwhile, six other countries also saw their real-time payment transactions growing more than double on-year, while four saw at least a two-fold increase in transaction value. However, in terms of the growth rate, Bahrain topped the list with 657 per cent growth, followed by Ghana clipping at 488 per cent, the Philippines growing at 309 per cent, Australia at 214 per cent, and Poland at 208 per cent. India’s growth rate was 213 per cent.