NITI Aayog and Mastercard published a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Developing a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat‘. The report identifies struggles in hastening electronic fiscal addition in India and provides recommendations for creating digital solutions for its 1.3 billion citizens.

The report has been released by NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant, along with Ajit Pai, distinguished expert, and head, Economics and Finance Mobile, combined with Ravi Aurora, Senior Vice President, and Group Head, Global Community Relations, Mastercard.

According to 5 roundtable discussions held in October & November 2020, the report highlights key issues and opportunities and inferences and recommendations on coverage and capability building across Agriculture, MSMEs, Urban Freedom, and Cyber Safety. Experts from the authorities related to the banking industry, the financial regulator, fintech businesses, and various ecosystem innovators engaged in the talks directed by NITI Aayog and backed by Mastercard.

NITI Aayog has been an understanding partner in this great endeavor. The collection of workshops and the report were curated by the industry advisory company FTI Consulting. The report reflects the discussions held throughout the roundtables.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, VC, NITI Aayog, stated that technology was transformational, providing better and easier access to financial services. India sees growing digitization of fiscal services, with customers changing from cash to cards, wallets, programs, and UPI. This report looks at important sectors and regions that need electronic disruptions to deliver financial services to everybody.

Between October and November, specialists discussed ways to quicken digital fiscal inclusion, empower global chances for MSMEs, inspire trust and safety in electronic trade, prepare India’s agri-enterprises for linked trade, and construct strong transit methods smart cities. 

Crucial issues addressed during the understanding series were:

  • Digital fiscal inclusion for underserved segments. Enabling SMEs to get paid, receive funds, receive digital’ and access clients, and ensure their continuing resilience.
  • Policy and technological interventions can boost confidence and boost cyber resilience.
  • Unlocking the guarantee of digitization from India’s farming industry.
  • The vital components of an electronic roadmap to generating transit available for all citizens.

At the post-Covid age, developing resilient systems and supporting small business models that might be change-makers of their future is critical, said Amitabh Kant. He said India is emerging as the heart of digital financial services worldwide, with options such as UPI growing tremendously and being hailed as instrumental in bringing cheap digital payment options to the last mile. Fintech players, together with the traditional financial services suppliers, hold the secret to changing the way the economy works and increasing accessibility to credit for our business. It will let us create the Indian electronic fiscal landscape suitable, secure, and available to all.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • Strengthening the charging infrastructure to market a level playing field for NBFCs and banks.
  • Digitizing enrollment and compliance procedures and diversifying credit resources to allow growth opportunities for MSMEs.
  • Building data sharing systems, such as a ‘fraud repository’, also ensures that online digital trade platforms take warnings to alert customers to the danger of fraud.
  • Allowing agricultural NBFCs to get low-cost capital and install a ‘phygital‘ (physical + digital) version for attaining better lasting digital results. Digitizing land recordings will also offer a significant boost to the industry.
  • To generate city transit seamlessly available to all with minimal crowding and queues, leveraging existing smartphones and contactless cards, and goal to get an inclusive, interoperable, and open platform like the London ‘Tube’.

The Covid-19 pandemic has alerted us all to the fragility of money and the durability of electronic technologies, such as digital payments. Despite constraints, the trade is required to satisfy basic livelihood demands, and it’s the digital technology that has made it feasible. 

More than ever, the energy of brick-and-mortar distribution stations is parallel to the digital world. In the past decades, India has shifted its working arena in creating digital more reachable and free from any friction. It’s among the most innovative digital obligations surrounding the world. 

Now’s the opportunity to take our learnings and digital transformation at scale with agility and speed. With this report, we hope to emphasize key components of a roadmap India can follow to attain the next level of digital transformation, driven by giving value to half a billion of the society which will get on the internet and electronic trades in the subsequent three years, says Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.