5 December 2015

NEW DELHI: Emphasising that low cost of transaction is key to success of digital financial inclusion goal, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said government is also working on universal health insurance scheme similar to other social security scheme.

“We are solving access problem with social security open architecture…We can now load whole host of other apps (applications) on the top of the platform that we are building,” he said at a discussion titled Transforming India Trough Digital Financial Inclusion organised by Nasscom and Bill & Millinda Gates Foundation.

“One of the apps that we are thinking about right now is health insurance then we have got national crop insurance. We are working on that as well,” he said.

He said other applications can be put on that platform. It can also allow state government to put their schemes on that platform.

“We are working towards completely cashless digital economy,” he said.

General insurance product Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Suraksha Bima Yojna while life insurance product Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is currently being provided through banks at a very low cost premium to all bank account holders including Jan Dhan account holders.

“One of the biggest cost of transaction is KYC (Know Your Customer). KYC today if you don’t use Aadhaar costs anything between Rs 1500 to 2000.”

Citing example of Aadhaar as KYC, he said there is no cost and that would bring down transaction cost.

Bill Gates, Co chairman and Trustee of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said digital transactions in India will see a surge in the coming years.

“Digital transactions will rise to 50 per cent of India’s GDP in the next 2-3 years,” he said.

Technology is not a problem in India what is the barrier today is cost of transaction, TRAI Chairman R S Sharma said.

Frugal digital transaction is what is required in India, Sharma added. Noting that India is very price sensitive market, he said, less than 2 per cent use mobile for financial transaction.

Source: The Economic Times