Keen to use blockchain, machine learning and open APIs in public service: FinMin

The Centre is keen to promote use of technologies like Blockchain, Machine Learning and Open APIs by all three levels (Centre, State and local) of government to enable delivery of financial and other services, a top Finance Ministry official said on Wednesday.

Addressing a learning session on ‘Accelerating Responsible Digital Payments: Unlocking the Role of Fintech in Last Mile Service Delivery’, K Rajaraman, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and a lead member of India’s Steering Committee on Fintech, said fintechs have significantly permeated the payments landscape and these firms can be game-changing partners for Central Ministries, State Governments and even large local governments for service delivery at the last mile, especially for women and micro-enterprises.

The peer exchange, which saw participation of leaders from States and Union Territories across India, was co-organised by Department of Economic Affairs in Finance Ministry and UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance.

Various Ministries and agencies made presentations on Open APIs, Smart City Cards, Blockchain use cases, Account Aggregator Eco system etc. State Government presented case studies on use cases.

During the Covid-19 relief efforts, nearly ₹68,000 crore of cash was provided as direct benefits transfers directly into the bank accounts of the most vulnerable, an official release said. The Digital Payment Infrastructure established by Centre including Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhaar and Mobile phone (JAM) was put to good use during the pandemic, the release added.

The webinar brought together leaders of Central and State Governments to deliberate on the opportunities and the role of fintech in enabling digitisation in sectors of national importance – land, agriculture, financial inclusion among others. State governments of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, and Himachal Pradesh presented learning from successful fintech partnerships. Some States have announced FinTech Policies, while some have announced Blockchain and AI Policies.

India became a member of the Better Than Cash Alliance in 2015 to digitise payments to achieve financial inclusion and to share success stories from Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, the world’s largest financial inclusion program.