Home / Industry / Banking /  Govt has created necessary infra for fintechs to grow: BK Karad

NEW DELHI : With the government increasing its focus on developing the fintech sector, including creation and growth of indigenous players, institutions must keep a close eye on cyber security, minister of state for finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad said at Mint’s Annual Banking Conclave.

Addressing industry leaders, Karad said the government has created the necessary infrastructure for fintechs to grow and the industry could count on the government as a partner in the sector’s development.

Financial technology is a great tool to meet customer expectations, the minister said. “Government is keen on the growth of the fintech sector and we are confident that fintechs will find the right environment in India. Besides being a solution, fintech is also an opportunity. Nearly 71% of the world’s startups are in fintech. India can do great work in building and growing indigenous fintech players."

Referring to the JAM trinity—linking of Jan Dhan accounts (savings bank account for the unbanked with zero minimum balance), mobile phones and Aadhaar, besides the unified payment interface (UPI) payment system, the minister said the Centre has worked towards building great infrastructure for the fintech industry. The initiatives help the government transfer welfare benefits directly to citizens, particularly under the Kisan samman yojna.

“Our companies will have a solid platform to depend on. We promise that," Karad said. “With massive force of trained professionals, I would also request all banks to keep an eye on developing cyber security," he added.

Karad said industry executives must take note of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to bankers last month to shed the impression of being the givers and treating the customers as recipients and, instead, embrace the partnership approach.

“The role between the two has to be of partners, not of one between giver and seeker. Today, my friends, there is no doubt that India is a land of unlimited opportunities. Nature has given all that we can benefit from. Everything depends on our hard work. In our sector, banks will need to try and make sure that they place customers and new business at the centre of their working."

Karad said banks can play the role of a social institution. “India stands at the cusp of a new era. Covid-19 has disrupted the world. As a rising country, India demonstrated with good policies, we can keep developing amid any crisis."

Karad referred to Arthshastra, a treatise on economic policy, to emphasize the need for economic empowerment of all sections of the society. “When India wants to inspire the world with its way of life, it is important that we need to remember the saying dharmasya moolam arth (which roughly translates to ‘basis of righteous behaviour is wealth’). To put forth and prove the quality of India’s way of life, we need to make every citizen financially capable and empowered. Banks should work on promoting safe credit penetration across the length and breadth of the country. India is bursting with new ideas. India is second in the list of countries with most startups. I would like to encourage banks to understand the needs of all sectors and support them with specific solutions," the minister said.

“Every sector has its specific needs. Nobody understands this better than the bankers. Prime Minister has said the government of India is with bankers. Government is ready to support bankers in every way and is ready to walk every step with them whether it is dealing with non-performing assets or financial literacy. The government has taken several steps for this and will continue to do so."

He also explained that for India, technology is the solution to various issues, whether financial inclusion and financial literacy, or access to credit. The minister said technology has helped engage with people remotely and to serve customers.

“Today people across India have a greater amount of access to technology and the internet. India consumes the highest amount of internet data per capita. Handholding customers is a great task that banks can fulfil. This will not only help the society to develop, but also help banks to secure their finances and customer relations," the minister added.

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