PM Modi hard-sells India to global FinTech firms

Modi calls upon to address privacy issue

Modi became the first world leader to address the festival which was launched in 2016 and is in its third edition. (Image source: Twitter/PIB)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday sought to hard-sell India to FinTech companies around the world, even as he called upon them to address the issues of privacy and data ownership.

“There is an explosion of fintech innovation and enterprise in India. It has turned India into a leading FinTech and Start-Up nation in the world. The future of fintech and Industry 4.0 is emerging in India,” Modi said, delivering the keynote address at the FinTech Festival in Singapore.

Prime Minister launched the APIX or Application Programming Interface Exchange, a global fintech platform, which would first connect the fintech companies and financial institutions of India and the 10 South East Asian nations before eventually connecting Indian companies to banks and financial institutions globally. The APIX was started by the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) and established by ASEAN Bankers’ Association, World Bank-IFC and Monetary Authority of Singapore.

He said that the FinTech should be a movement, not merely a mechanism. “We have to address the inevitable questions of data ownership and flow, privacy and consent; private and public good; law and ethics,” said Prime Minister.

Modi said that the youths in India were developing applications to make the dream of paperless, cashless, presence-less, and yet safe and secure, transactions possible for all. They were using Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and machine learning to create solutions for banks, regulators and consumers, in addition to embracing the nation’s social missions – from health and education to micro credit and insurance.

“This enormous talent pool in India benefits from the ecosystem created by initiatives such as Digital India and Startup India, and by supportive policies, incentives and funding programmes,” said Prime Minister, who arrived in Singapore early on Wednesday. 

“It also helps that India has the largest data consumption in the world and the cheapest rates for data.And one of the top nations in fintech adoption. So, I say this to all the fintech companies and startups – India is your best destination,” he said.

He cited the example of the economies of the scale achieved by the LED bulb industry in India allowing the energy efficient technology to become more affordable globally. “Likewise,” he said, “India’s vast market can enable fintech products to achieve scale, reduce risks and costs, and go global.”

Modi stressed on making the banks and financial institutions “more resilient” in managing risks, fighting frauds and dealing with disruption of traditional models. He also called for using technology to improve compliance, regulation and supervision to help innovation flourish and contain risks. “We must use fintech tools to combat money laundering and other financial crimes,” said Prime Minister, who is currently on a two-day tour to Singapore, primarily to attend the ASEAN and East Asia Summits being hosted by the city-state’s government.

He said the emerging world of finance would succeed in the inter-connected world when the data and systems would be trusted and secure. “We have to make our globally wired system safe from cyber threats,” said Prime Minister. 

“We must also ensure that the pace and the push of FinTech work to the advantage of the people, not to their disadvantage; that technology in finance ensures improvement of the human condition through direct contact with the most marginalized,” said Modi who was the first Head of Government to deliver the keynote address at the third Singapore FinTech Festival.

Nearly 30000 participants from 100 countries are participating in the Singapore FinTech Festival, which was launched in 2016 and already emerged as the world’s largest event on financial technology. The participants this year include 230 experts from public policy, finance and technology, and about 400 exhibitors from about 40 countries. India and 15 other countries set up pavilions in the Singapore FinTech Festival. With 18 participants, India Pavilion has the highest number of companies among the participants at the Singapore FinTech Festivals.

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PM Modi hard-sells India to global FinTech firms

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