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Financial technology, or fintech, enables a nation’s growth as it allows access to goods and services that are otherwise not available to everyone, said Munish Varma, managing partner, SoftBank Vision Fund, at Mint’s India Investment Summit 2021.

“Fintech allows services to those who did not have them before, at low cost and in a frictionless manner. If India can bring more such services into the formal banking/lending system using companies such as Paytm, the country will grow more," he said.

Japan’s SoftBank Group has invested in Indian digital payments startup Paytm and insurance aggregator Policybazaar, which according to Varma are “doing very well". SoftBank is “excited" about fintech, not just in India but globally, and with the support of tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, the services can be improved over time, he said.

The pandemic has transformed and fast-tracked the evolution of some sectors such as e-commerce, edtech, healthtech and fintech, he said, adding that these businesses will continue to grow.

“If you take the example of certain sectors that have faced tailwinds from the pandemic, e-commerce is a case in point. E-commerce penetration was expected to be 25% in the US by 2025, but we have already achieved that in the last quarter of 2020. The pandemic has accelerated the transformation and evolution of certain business and sectors," Varma said.

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