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Nandan Nilekani to head RBI panel on digital payments

Nandan Nilekani

The Reserve Bank of India has decided to set up a high-level committee on 'Deepening of digital payments' headed by Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India, in a bid to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion.

The committee will review the existing status of digitisation of payments in the country, identify the current gaps in the ecosystem and suggest ways to bridge them and assess the current levels of digital payments in financial inclusion. "It will also undertake cross country analyses with a view to identify best practices that can be adopted in our country to accelerate digitisation of the economy and financial inclusion through greater use of digital payments," the RBI said in a statement.

The Nilekani panel will also suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments and provide a road map for increasing customer confidence and trust while accessing financial services through digital modes. Further, it will suggest a medium-term strategy for deepening of digital payments and other related items. The Committee shall submit its report within a period of 90 days from the date of its first meeting.

The other members of the panel are: H.R. Khan, former Deputy Governor, RBI, Kishore Sansi, former MD & CEO, Vijaya Bank, Aruna Sharma former Secretary, Ministry of Information Technology and Steel and Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad.

According to a report on India's financial sector by Credit Suisse, cash share in India is still estimated at 70 per cent in value terms and digital payments currently aggregate only $200 billion, compared with $5-trillion mobile payments in China. "Payment integration into popular apps in India will drive the digital payment market in India to around $1 trillion over the next five years," Credit Suisse noted.