India’s fintech revolution has been one of recent marvels that have wowed the world in the past decade. India’s tech-backed financial services landscape has developed significantly over the years, and India has shone in its capacity to build a top-notch fintech ecosystem. As a result, India presently has the highest fintech adoption rate in the world at 87 per cent. As a nation that not only envisions to go digital to the last mile, but also become the third-largest economy in the next five/six decades, it is appropriate to say that we have struck the balance between innovation and regulation.

At present, there are 24 fintech Unicorns in India, which is a testament to the cutting edge innovation taking place here, which has led to the stupendous growth of the fintech ecosystem in the country. It is expected that the total addressable market size of the Indian fintech ecosystem will reach $2.1 trillion by 2030. “New business models, regulators’ industry-first approach, willingness to explore new and unconservative use cases, and regular dialogue with the stakeholders collectively act as a driving force in making India the emerging fintech innovation hub for the world and also already the third largest ecosystem across the globe,” Naveen Surya, Chairman of Fintech Convergence Council, told Khaleej Times in an interview. Excerpts:

How is India innovating the ecosystem with digital public infrastructure (DPI) such as UPI and others?

UPI is the foundational gold medal when it comes to India’s footing in the digital payments ecosystem. The proliferation of UPI both domestically as well as internationally showcases just how large its growth potential is and how it can propel collaboration with the financial systems of other jurisdictions.

While technology is the key to enabling these financial innovations, using DPI certainly seems to enhance the safe and efficient delivery of economic and social opportunities to all. In the words of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), DPI is a shared means to many ends. When we speak specifically about how India is using DPI to achieve its goal of making the country digital or reaching its financial inclusion goals, a host of initiatives and platforms play a crucial role in providing financial products and services, benefiting society till the last mile.

UPI, OCEN, ONDC, Public Tech Platform, Frictionless Credit and Account Aggregator are some of the key developments in the DPI arena that are moving ahead very fast. Such parallel growth leaves India in a great position with boundless possibilities.

How can the world collaborate with the Indian fintech ecosystem?

Collaboration has already begun, and we recently concluded the biggest fintech gathering, Global Fintech Fest, which aimed to provide a singular platform for global fintech leaders to foster collaborations and develop a blueprint for the future of the industry. It highlighted the critical need for global collaboration to build a financial ecosystem that is inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.

Right from UPI linkages with the financial systems of other international jurisdictions to a commendable growth trajectory of India’s International Financial Services Centre, the country has made unmatched progress in driving collaboration.

Having said that, much remains to be explored. Countries are increasingly collaborating for Global remittance, CBDC usage, open APIs, and blockchain technology have the potential to connect countries like never before, and regulators and policymakers are taking strides in discovering how fintech can become the driving force to achieving financial inclusion.

What is the size of the Indian fintech market and what kind of opportunities do global investors have in India?

India is on its path to becoming a global fintech superpower. The Indian fintech market is estimated to reach a market size of ~$150 Bn by 2025.

Global fintech investment in India has increased, and interoperable sandboxes and innovation hubs for foreign entities to participate in the Indian fintech landscape have also grown. Startup funding and fintech funding are on a positive growth chart.

From increased collaboration to international fintechs wanting to set up a base and explore opportunities in India, cloud-based solutions, big data, and advanced security solutions are some of the key drivers for the growth of the Indian fintech market.

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