News: Recently, the Government of India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance hosted Merchant Digitization Summit 2021: Towards Atma Nirbhar (Self Reliance) Bharat. The Summit brought together leaders from the public and private sectors to accelerate responsible digitization of merchants in India’s North-Eastern and Himalayan regions, and Aspirational districts.
- Empowering women merchants who play critical roles in their communities is one of the priorities to help achieve the mission of Digital India.
- The National Language Translation Mission can be used to disseminate digital payments information, privacy clauses and consent in local languages for trust and empowerment.
- Identified opportunities to address the challenges of connectivity, access to smartphones, and digital literacy for merchants at the last mile.
- Along with the increased focus on ‘Make in India’ through Atmanirbhar Bharat Scheme, responsible digitization must more strongly include rural networks such as Self Help Groups and community enablers.
- This will lead to creation of the local digital ecosystems to help millions of merchants join the formal economy, access credit, and grow their business.
- From an average of 2-3 billion digital transactions monthly, India has set an ambitious target for 1 billion digital transactions per day.
- Person to Merchant (P2M) digital payment transactions will scale to 10-12 billion transactions every month to contribute to India’s digital economy.
Better Than Cash Alliance
- The Better Than Cash Alliance is a global partnership of 75 governments, companies, and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth.
- It was created in September 2012 by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (Secretariat), the US Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Visa Inc. among others.
- Based at the UN, the Alliance has over 50 members, works closely with other global organizations, and is an implementing partner for the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.
- India became a member of the alliance in 2015 to digitize payments to achieve financial inclusion and to share success stories from PM Jan Dhan Yojana, the world’s largest financial inclusion program.
- The Better Than Cash Alliance partners with governments, companies, and international organizations that are the key drivers behind the transition to make digital payments widely available by:
- Advocating for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance.
- Conducting research and sharing the experiences of our members to inform strategies for making the transition.
- Catalyzing the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems in member countries to reduce costs, increase transparency, advance financial inclusion– particularly for women– and drive inclusive growth.