Early August, India’s apex ﬁnancial institution, the Reserve Bank of India announced setting up an ‘Innovation Hub’ to address the chronic challenges to ﬁnancial inclusion in the country and promote eﬃcient banking services. The drive is primarily through National Mission for Financial Inclusion (NMFI), namely, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Direct Beneﬁt Transfers (DBTs) of subsidy since August 2014. The objective: providing universal banking services to every unbanked household, securing the unsecured, funding the unfunded and serving the unserved and underserved areas.
Driving India’s Inclusive Growth
Technology has been the backbone of this initiative of ﬁnancial empowerment. Hitachi, a global leader in Social Innovation Business, has been at the forefront of it. Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd., a Hitachi Group Company, has been leveraging the group’s advanced OT (Operational Technology) X IT solutions to augment the government’s vision and further develop the payments infrastructure in the country. Innovation in both cash and digital payment solutions has made Hitachi Payment Services (HPY) one of the cornerstones of partnerships with government and private institutions.
Mr Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director, Hitachi India, says, “We believe that a robust payment infrastructure can architect a technologically sound ﬁnancial backbone of the nation. Hitachi is at the forefront of driving, collaborating, and supporting the Indian government’s mission of ﬁnancial and digital inclusion. We are Powering Good by mobilizing the nation’s progress through Social Innovation Business solutions that are consistently enhanced to promote steady welfare and provide additional beneﬁts for the people of India.”
A key joint venture (JV) initiative illustrates this. State Bank of India (SBI), the nation’s largest commercial bank and Hitachi Payment Services entered into a joint venture (JV) to build a state-of-the-art card acceptance and future-ready digital payment platform. The JV, SBI Payments oﬀers a comprehensive suite of payment options to customers and merchants focusing on the roll-out of a nationwide card acceptance infrastructure, quick response (QR) code acceptance, Uniﬁed Payments Interface (UPI), mass transit sector and e-commerce businesses.
The ‘National Strategy for Financial Inclusion for India 2019-2024’1 document released by RBI speaks volumes about the success of various initiatives. Over 10 crore PMJDY accounts were created in over 2 years, till March’19. The number of card acceptance devices of Point of Sale (POS) has increased by over 26 lakhs in 5 years. The process and progress is continual.
In the banking sector, Hitachi has made an indelible mark in advancement and inclusive growth. First, the government’s eﬀorts to ensure ﬁnancial sustainability resulted in the advent of smaller ﬁnancial institutions cementing their presence along with multi-varied cash dispensing platforms being set up in the rural sector, seamlessly shifting from conventional ATMs to cash recycling machines (CRMs) and setting up of White Label ATMs (WLAs). Hitachi Payment Services, under the license from RBI as a designated non-bank entity, established WLAs under the brand ‘Hitachi Money Spot’, primarily engaging Tier 3 to Tier 6 towns. Ever since, the popular Hitachi Money Spot ATM has empowered citizens through improved payment infrastructure and revolutionized banking environment in the country’s hinterland.
Mr. Rustom Irani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Oﬃcer, Hitachi Payment Services says, “Committed to building a robust and secure payment infrastructure for India, Hitachi Payment Services oﬀers the nation’s most comprehensive range of cash and digital payment solutions. Utilizing advanced and innovative technologies, our end-to-end solutions help meet the changing needs of society while driving payment penetration and further expanding the payment ecosystem in the country.”
Building a technologically sound financial backbone
In architecting a technologically sound ﬁnancial backbone for India, Hitachi Payment Services oﬀer the nation’s most comprehensive suite of cash and digital payment solutions. This suite furthers the agenda of developing a robust payment infrastructure with end-to-end advanced solutions that caters to ﬁnancial institutions, merchants and the general population at large. Along with deployment of WLAs that drive ATM penetration, Hitachi’s one of the most disruptive innovations has been in transforming ATMs to CRMs, taking advantage of National Payments Corporation of India’s recommendation on allowing interoperability of cash deposits in the banking sector.
Hitachi CRMs today are virtually mini bank branches, enabling ﬁnancial institutions the opportunity to extend to the nation’s masses 24×7 cash deposit and withdrawal facility, among other services. Hitachi has more than 502 per cent of the CRM market share in India and its services are designed to support the Digital India initiatives through the display of Bharat QR code for card-less withdrawal, soft-keyboard for data entry of UPI transactions and Aadhaar-enabled biometric functionality.
Hitachi with its advanced technological solutions and in-house developed future-ready digital payment platform is bridging this gap by delivering innovation and value to the merchants, thus contributing towards the Government of India’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
Hitachi Payment Services is constantly growing the payments ecosystem, meeting the changing needs of society, helping India’s ﬁnancial service sector to grow faster and driving ﬁnancial empowerment for the masses. Currently it manages over 55,000 ATMs (includes 19,000 cash recycling machines), 3,900 WLAs and 1.3 million POS devices (includes mobile POS & QR), besides toll and transit solutions3.
Powering good, changing life
Hitachi Payment Services’ technologically advanced payment solutions oﬀer high levels of information security, reliability and a seamless experience, transforming the ease with which payment transactions happen in India today – be it in cash or digital. Overall, Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business is POWERING GOOD by enhancing the Quality of Life (QoL) for citizens and improving the social and economic values of all its stakeholders for a sustainable future.
Source 1: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/content/pdfs/NSFIREPORT100119.pdf
Source 2: As per internal estimates, based on data as of September 2020
Source 3: Data as of September 2020
The article is sponsored by Hitachi Payment Services