An excerpt from Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) report on fintech states almost half of the world’s unbanked live in seven countries: China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico and Bangladesh. Dramatic progress has been made in China and India, and similar strategies for digital financial inclusion have been developed in Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Many other countries are developing similar strategies to support the transformation offered by digital finance.
Indian PM Mr Narendra Modi is scheduled to speak at the Singapore Fintech Festival shortly which has the largest gathering of global Fintech companies and delegates ranging from the industry leaders to smaller start-ups.
Modi will launch APIX, a banking technology designed to reach two billion people worldwide who are still without bank accounts.
Designed by software experts based in Hyderabad, Colombo and London, APIX is a sophisticated technology by Boston-headquartered Virtusa, especially for smaller banks, Tier 3 and 4, to reach out to people in the remote regions.
The Prime Minister will be launching the technology at the invitation of Monetary Authority of Singapore, the International Finance Corp of the World Bank and the ASEAN Banking Association.
APIX will support banks to reach out to those without bank accounts in 23 countries including the 10 ASEAN members as well as major markets such as India, and small nations including Fiji.
The Government of India has been introducing several exclusive schemes for the purpose of financial inclusion. These schemes intend to provide social security to the less fortunate sections of the society.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has opened 320 milllion bank accounts of the people who never had any access to banks.
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana has given loans to more than 120 million MSMEs, startups and entrepreneurs.
- Recently launched ‘PSB loans in 59 minutes’ scheme ‘in-principle’ approves loans within 59 minutes for MSMEs via online application. The scheme is being executed by a fintech startup for government of India.
With the introduction of fintechs, financial inclusion is improving extensively across the whole world. India also has many fintech companies that are constantly working towards simplifying the process of providing financial services to prospective clients. Fintech companies have also been successful in offering financial services and products at minimal costs. Fintechs are enabling people in rural areas to apply for loans or open bank accounts by using mobile phones.
A few of the latest fintech options that are used by individuals include crowd funding, digital payment systems, peer-to-peer (P2P), electronic wallets, etc. Many people in both rural and urban areas are utilising these advanced options of banking.
The government of India intends to carry out crores of digital financial transactions for the present and upcoming years with the help of Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) banking methods, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), Aadhaar Pay, debit cards, BHIM app, and credit cards.
Indian RuPay card is giving tough competition to global brands like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express etc.
Apart from introducing digital financial systems to the poor people, a few banks have released mobile banking vans or trucks to reach the interior parts or untouched parts of the country. In these parts, people do not have access to transport, communication, or financial services.
Fintech are redefining the financial inclusion and reaching out to the people to whom the traditional banking and financial system couldn’t. Fintech across the globe using latest technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, and Analytics etc are making the financial inclusion possible for billions of people at affordable price with full safety and security.