The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) today hosted a unique event – ‘Digital Payment Utsav’ as part of the week-long ‘Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav’. The day celebrated the journey and rise of digital payments in India and brought together leaders from the Government, banking sector, fintech companies and startups. The event held at the India Habitat Centre witnessed the unveiling of the DIGIDHAN logo, launch of an awareness campaign called Digital Payments Sandesh Yatra with digital payments anthem titled ‘Chutki Baja ke’ (cashless, touchless, paperless). Top Banks and Fintechs were awarded & recognized in various categories for their achievements in FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 towards the promotion of digital payments. During the event, MeitY also recognised the contribution of four payment system aggregators for onboarding street vendors under the PM SVANidhi Scheme.

Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Electronics & Information Technology, Railways and Communications congratulated the winners and placed a challenge before the bankers to create a platform as powerful and seamless as the UPI for providing quick and easy credit to the MSMEs, small industries, small businessmen and people at the bottom of the pyramid. “You (bankers) have today a very good ecosystem of Aadhar, Digilocker and UPI to take up the challenge. Work on the challenge for the next three months, come back and I will work the whole day with you to look at the concepts you have brought,” he said.

Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar,  Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship delivered a special address recognising the efforts of the BFSI & Fintech players for making the dream of a less-cash, digitally empowered and AatmaNirbhar Bharat a reality.

He said that it was due to the efforts of PM Shri Narendra Modi that now, even during the pandemic, citizens could get their benefits directly into their account with no leakage, corruption, and in the most responsible manner that any democratic government can do. “The performance of India in digital payment space is the envy of nations around the world that years ago thought they are ahead in technology and innovation,” he added.

The keynote speaker at the event Shri Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitYemphasised the vision to make India a less-cash society and shared his insights on the need for a robust and secure payment ecosystem. “Coming on top of Aadhar, UPI has created a certain magic, making it a living digital identity for which we don’t even require a card in pocket. UPI is not just a database or a project, it is a nationwide ecosystem where everyone is welcome to join in.

UPI continues to grow at an unexpected pace…but we still have many miles to go. Till we see cash our work is not complete,” he said.

Ms. Simmi Chaudhary, Economic Adviser, MeitYhighlighted the importance of digital payments in this unprecedented time caused by the COVID pandemic globally. “Thanks to the wide acceptance of customers, we have been witnessing exponential growth in Digital payments year after year and especially during the pandemic. The total transaction volume has increased from Rs 2,071 crore in financial year 2018 to Rs 5,551 crore in financial year 2021. Digital payments have been keeping the economy running and helping people reduce the contact with the virus”.

The event saw the launch of innovative solutions like:

  • Payments On the Go: Wearables are re-defining the true paperless contactless payments, catalysing them further, Bank of Baroda and City Union Bank launched Rupay-on-the-Go.
  • Inclusive Credit for All: Credit cards represent the next big in fintech and contactless is truly the way forward. To drive it to the next level, India Post Payments Bank-Punjab National Bank, Kotak Bank, YES Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, ICICI Bank, Indian Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, and City Union Bank launched Contactless Credit cards on the RuPay network.
  • Empowering Small Merchants: India has close to 1.5 crore retail stores/ Kiryana stores. Union Bank announced an android-based SOFTPOS mobile app for point of sales, which will further the cause of digital payment adoption.

As many as 40 stalls were set up by various fintechs, banks and other ecosystem partners, who have contributed to the revolution of digital payments in the country, as part of an Expo in the event.

The event was marked by various cultural activities, an Awards ceremony for banks and fintechs, the launch of “Chutki Baja Ke” Digital Payments Anthem, and the flag-off of Digital Payments Sandesh Yatra by the Union Minister and other dignitaries.

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