Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of Infosys and the founding chairman of UIDAI (Aadhaar), foresees India’s digital public framework expanding to 50 nations in the next five years. Nilekani, who was part of the B20 Summit India 2023, said how India’s proven strategies can aid other countries in establishing robust digital platforms. “This growth underscores India’s position as a pioneer in digital advancements and tech-driven public solutions,” he said.
India’s stack began with the launch of Aadhaar ID numbers, followed by e- Know Your Customer (eKYC) for swift and paperless identity verification. The e-Sign feature allows users to append a legally recognized electronic signature to documents. The UPI system facilitates cashless transactions, and DigiLocker serves as a platform for issuing and authenticating documents and certificates. In fact, the latest to join is the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).
In a column written for Business Today, K. V Kamath, the Chairman of the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID), identified countries where Indian businesses could contribute to inclusion. “Since Indian enterprises have mastered the process of inclusion, they have a compelling case for expanding to other regions, including Africa, a significant portion of Europe, and South America, “he said, while adding that by exporting their inclusive model, Indian enterprises can play a pivotal role in transforming the lives of underserved populations in various parts of the world. This expansion would not only create new economic opportunities but also foster sustainable development and bridge the digital divide.
In fact, the Global South is an ideal destination for India’s digital stack. The global south encompasses nations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Chief Coordinator, G-20, in an interview with BT, was more measured in his words. “As a normative body, the G20 plays a pivotal role in suggesting policies, frameworks, and principles. Our focus is on determining the principles that can govern the use of digital public infrastructure (DPI) and creating a framework that fosters cooperation among nations,” said Shringla.
“The G20’s role extends to supporting countries in this attempt, setting a template for enhanced cooperation and assistance to developing nations in establishing DPIs,” he added. Currently, UPI is already taking the lead in global adoption. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is talking to dozens of countries about UPI adoption. These tie-ups will either be at the government level, with payments players, or with private companies in the payments space. In recent years, several countries have adopted India’s UPI payment system, with Bhutan being the first to adopt UPI in 2021. The other countries include Oman, the UAE, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the UK. France is the latest to join the list.