NITI Aayog & Mastercard recommendations on Connected Commerce

Niti Aayog and Mastercard have released key recommendations on Connected Commerce by releasing a report called ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a digitally Inclusive Bharat’.

The key recommendations are: Strengthening the payment infrastructure to promote a level playing field for NBFCs and banks; Digitizing registration and compliance processes and diversifying credit sources to enable growth opportunities for MSMEs; Building information sharing systems, including a ‘fraud repository’; Enabling agricultural NBFCs to access low-cost capital and deploy a ‘phygital’ (physical + digital) model; Digitizing land records will also provide a major boost to the sector; and Leveraging existing smartphones and contactless cards, and aim for an inclusive, interoperable, and fully open system.

The report identifies challenges in accelerating digital financial inclusion in India and provides recommendations for making digital services accessible to its 1.3 billion citizens.

The report was released by NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant, and Ajit Pai, Distinguished Expert and Head, Economics and Finance Cell, along with Ravi Aurora, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Global Community Relations, Mastercard.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Rajiv Kumar said, “Technology has been transformational, providing greater and easier access to financial services. India is seeing an increasing digitization of financial services, with consumers shifting from cash to cards, wallets, apps, and UPI. This report looks at some key sectors and areas that need digital disruptions to bring financial services to everyone.”

“In the post-Covid era, building resilient systems and encouraging business models that could be change-makers of the future are crucial,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.

“India is emerging as the hub of digital financial services globally, with solutions like UPI growing tremendously and being hailed as instrumental in bringing affordable digital payment solutions to the last mile. Fintech players, alongside the conventional financial services providers, hold the key to transforming the way the economy functions and increasing access to credit for our industry. This will enable us to make the Indian digital financial landscape convenient, safe, and accessible to all,” added Kant.

“In the past years, India has changed its operating landscape in making digital more accessible and friction free. It is one of the most advanced digital payments environments in the world. Now is the time to take our learnings and digital transformation-at-scale with speed and agility. With this report, we hope to highlight key elements of a roadmap India can follow to achieve the next level of digital transformation, driven by providing real value to the next half-billion of society that will go online and onto digital transactions in the next three years,” said Ari Sarker, Co-President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

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