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Photo: HT
Photo: HT

Fintech players seek more sops from govt

Experts believe that a new umbrella entity proposed by RBI will revolutionize retail payments

Fintech companies that are leading India’s digital transformation for a post-covid world say greater incentives will help boost the number of online transactions.

Speaking at the Mint’s Pivot or Perish panel discussion on Thursday, some of India’s top industry names said continuing and growing support from policymakers will go a long way in creating a V-shaped recovery for the economy, which is seeing a contraction for the first time in four decades.

“There should be a cascading model where the more a merchant digitizes, the more he is complying with the government, the more tax he is paying and he is helping the government; can those benefits come to us?" said Naveen Surya, chairman, Fintech Convergence Council, and chairman emeritus, Payment Council of India.

According to Sameer Nigam, founder and chief executive officer of PhonePe, the government should help fintech players reach the last mile. “We have never asked for a subsidy. Industry wants to do market pricing. The market is absorbing the cost. UPI was capped at 65-70 basis points. It is the cheapest mode for digital payment."

Experts also believe that a new umbrella entity proposed by RBI will revolutionize retail payments, developing a network parallel to National Payments Corp. of India, which can maintain interoperability with services such as UPI and yet foster innovation and inclusion in the payments space.

“We are always looking at digitization opportunities. Innovation drives our strategy; those will continue. We generally support initiatives to digitize. We are in the wait-and-see position," said Tobias Puehse, vice-president, head of innovation and customer solutions, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

Harshal Mathur, co-founder of Razorpay, concurred that the government should offer more incentives for key initiatives such as the new payments entity.

That said, the experts are excited about some of the regulatory innovations RBI has brought in, including the account aggregator framework, which seeks to bring disparate financial customer data onto a single platform. “Multiple regulators are coming together and saying how do we aggregate data. Through personal financial management, how do I get a better loan? The ability to interface to GSTN, getting a full view of SME business, all this will bring in a digital revolution," said Srinivas Nidugondi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of mobile financial solutions at Comviva.

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