India on the threshold of FINTECH revolution ushering in evolutionary change in day -to-day financial transaction

Shri Vishal Jhajharia, President, MCCI addressing the Session. India is on the threshold of FINTECH ( financial technology ) revolution  ushering in evolutionary change in day to day financial transaction in every day life at grass root level . Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry , one of the oldest business chamber in India organised ” MCCI FinTech Forum 2019″ on 12 June 2019 in Kolkata . Theme of the Forum was   ‘FinTech: Digitally Disrupting the Financial World’ . The theme for the Inaugural Session was ‘Future Landscape of FinTech Ecosystem – Vision 2025’.  

Shri Debashis Sen, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of IT & Electronics, Govt. of West Bengal in his keynote address said that over one half of the world’s population is now on the Internet and this transformation, which has taken place in last 25 years is being driven by the developing world.

The digital drive in the Indian economy is being driven by ‘entertainment, entertainment and entertainment’ and which he categorised as the new ‘time-pass economy’ or ‘leisure economy’.

Shri Sen spoke about effort of the government to push for digital transaction in every sphere of financial transaction at grass root level of the society  .  Shri Sen mentioned about effort to promote  cash less  digital transaction in local transport sector  both in urban & rural areas in West Bengal . He mentioned about Government’s pilot project  to start    ‘Toto on Call’ which is designed in similar lines like urban cab aggregators to promote digital transaction through smart phones . But one major challenge to promote  digital transaction  at grass root level specially amongst low income group in the society is  cost of  Smart Phones. This section of the population is benefiting from digitisation but the speed with which they benefit would increase if the price of  smart  mobile phones can be  brought down  to say Rs. 1,500 from the current Rs. 3,500 or so.

The Bengal Silicon Valley IT Hub with an area of 200 acres is being set up in New Town and most of the land has already been taken up by many companies. The FinTech hub is located close by. An urban framework is being created with permission for 49 p.c. of mixed use for residential purposes and provision for co-working and co-living space. 

In Welcome  address , Shri Vishal Jhajharia, President, MCCI  said that the digital payment industry in India is gaining momentum and it is projected to grow at an exponential rate. It is projected that digital payments in India will supersede cash by 2022, according to the IDC Financial Insights report titled ‘The Future of Payments in India: More Spectacular Growth Ahead’.  

India is moving from  “currency note & coin ”  lead financial transaction economy at grass root level to  ” Digital financial transaction ” based economy using evolutionary  change in economic-cultural practises .

Shri Deepak Kumar, CGM-In-Charge, Department of Information Technology, Reserve Bank of Indiasaid that Israel has shown the way with FinTech. India is ahead in payment systems and the country ranks high in FinTech adoption rates. Technology is rapidly evolving and mobile to mobile payment systems are already outdated with the focus now shifting to Look and Pay technology.

The evolving Data Centre business may give India an opportunity in terms of employment similar to the one given by BPOs earlier.

Challenges for FinTech include (1) balancing privacy needs (2) keeping abreast of rapid technology change (3) cyber security concerns (4) regulatory uncertainty and (5) re-skilling employees.

Shri Ambarish Dasgupta, Sr. Partner & Founder, Intueri Consulting & Principal Advisor, WEBEL said that with FinTech, the expected convergence of different segments of the economy has happened and there is a proliferation of change. However, convergence has not changed the definition of say, the banking industry itself or the telecom industry.

The World Bank and IMF organised Bali FinTech Summit 2018 which produced a set of 12 policy elements aimed at helping member countries to harness benefits and opportunities of rapid advances in financial technology. While the World Bank is more focused on the reform side of FinTech, the UN looks at FinTech from the sustainability side.

The ASEAN market has huge Fintech needs. A FinTech hub should be created in West Bengal that will meet the FinTech requirements of ASEAN and other South East Asian countries.    

 Shri K. K. Gupta, Director, Resurgent India Ltd. said that India can be categorised as a country with a robust digital economy. Thanks to FinTech, banks can accept or reject proposals in 59 minutes and in fact, there is no need to visit a bank any more.  

Shri Neeraj Kulshrestha, CBO, BSE Ltd. said that India is undergoing the Fourth Industrial Revolution and despite being a late entrant, India has a large FinTech ecosystem.  

The country has 370 million mobile users, 340 million Jan Dhan accounts and other such strong features uniquely position India to leverage the digital revolution. Indians are rapidly adopting digital services.    

 Shri N. Kulshrestha, termed FinTech revolution  as Industrial Revolution 4.0 is meant for India and the country is poised for rapid growth which will usher in lifestyle & behavioural change in every day life . The projection is that start ups will become a large employer and smaller companies will deliver non-linear growth. Fintech revolution will boost various sectors within service industry and will  create new employment opportunities  which will meet the aspirations of the masses.

————————————————————————————- Partha Roy

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