In 2016, with the Jan-Dhan accounts in place and Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, the demonetisation exercise catapulted India into a country of digital payment innovations. NPCI created the UPI payments system that changed the way India purchased goods and how small businesses sold their wares. Bharat went digital, and smartphone penetration was on the rise.
Fast-forwarding to today, India is now the country with the world’s largest real-time payments transactions. In 2020 alone, India witnessed 25,478 million transactions compared to a distant second China with 15,741 million transactions. Furthermore, UPI is now touted as the world’s most advanced payments system.
Multiple small payment banks have sprung up and are providing the necessary infrastructure for enabling digital payments to the remotest areas in the country. Post offices and telecom providers have joined the bandwagon and are the backbone of our world-class digital payment infrastructure. We must be proud of what we have achieved thus far and must work towards further integrating the country’s most marginalized into our formal economy to help us achieve the dream of a $10 billion economy.