India has emerged as the global leader in fintech and one of the biggest disruptors in businesses in the recent years. The focus now is on safety, security and affordability of the system, said S Ganesh Kumar, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“We have proved to the rest of the world that in fintech we are the leader. The government and the regulators in India are focused on making fintech secure, safer and more affordable for the common people,” said S Ganesh at a summit on December 21.
Fintech has been at the top of new business interests in the country in the recent years. It dominates the startup ecosystem. Technology is not new to the financial institutions. They have been at the forefront of the use of new technologies. But fintech has brought a dramatic change in the products being offered and target market.
In recent years, by marrying Aadhaar numbers, UPI, ML, IoT, AI and blockchain with smart contracts, KYC, payment gateways, India’s fintech firms, in particular, banking companies, have taken a series of measures that have changed the face of the sector. With UPI 2.0 set launch in a few months, UPI-enabled credit systems and more will further step up the evolution.
On India’s Banking System
The digital payments sector in India is estimated to be around $50 Bn and is projected to touch $500 Bn by 2020. Understandably, the opportunity is enormous. Around 80% of economic transactions in India still happen through cash. The situation is just opposite in the developed economies where less than 20% transactions happen in cash.
Speaking on the positive shades of demonetisation, Rajeev Kumar, SVP, Market Development, South Asia of Mastercard, said there has been a dramatic increase in financial transactions in India in the last one year, especially due to demonetisation.
While official figures suggest 12% of all loans made in India have gone faulty, and analysts are writing India’s banking system down, the RBI Executive Director hailed the resilience of India’s banking system. The RBI senior official said that no Indian bank has failed in the last six decades, while this has been a regular feature in developed countries like the US.
“The last time when a bank failed in India and people lost their money was in 1960. Since then there is no bank failure. If you talk about the US, there was a bank failure yesterday,” added S Ganesh.
By integrating new platforms, technologies and government-enabled services, India’s banking has changed the way it was done a few years ago. However, that hasn’t insured Indian banks against the risk of delinquency. According to Fitch Ratings, Indian banks need at least $65 Bn to comply with the new international regulation ‘Basel-III norm’ that is set to roll out in March next year.
Though the Indian government has promised to inject $32 Bn to revive the drowning state-controlled lenders, it is clearly not enough. RBI too has failed in upkeeping its monetary policy, as the inflation rate is at a 15-month high, 4.88%. The focus is now on the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, what bazooka does he take out from the General Budget 2018!