One of the biggest milestones in India’s quest for becoming a Digital-First Nation has been the introduction of unified payments interface (UPI). Having said that, the digital payments service still has a long way to go. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the growth and gaps in India’s digital economy in a recent address to leaders of the US-India Business Council.
India has about 500 million active internet users, with another 500 million that are yet to come online. This means that the efforts in doubling the size of Digital India requires bridging this divide and expanding access to the tools and platforms that power India’s digital economy today. It is noteworthy that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) recently put a cap on unified payments interface (UPI) transactions for digital payments players like Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm and others.
Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp recently wrote in an article on Financial Express “More than four years ago, Prime Minister Modi launched this ground-breaking initiative to provide Indian citizens with the ability to make digital payments to one another and to the more than 60 million Indian small businesses that serve local communities and the world.”
Talking about the UPI integration with WhatsApp, Cathcart believes in doing so “we can help power a new wave of fintech innovation and financial inclusion.” The platform also has the ability to back up a broader suite of fintech applications like micro-pensions, digital insurance products, and flexible loans, something that might be seen on WhatsApp in the near future. Such custom solutions by Indian technology companies based on the UPI platform have the ability to solve large social, business and financial problems in India and then become templates for other countries to deploy.
Rapidly scaling UPI is the need of the hour and one of the best ways to strengthen India’s digital economy added Cathcart. He also says that the UPI project has proven to be ‘wildly successful’ in just four years managing a 100 million-strong user base ever since the launch.