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Bill Gates hails India's digital finance approach, calls it 'global model'

Gates praised India for building ambitious platforms for universal identification and digital payments which include the world’s largest biometric database and a system for sending rupees between any bank or smartphone app.

December 08, 2020 / 11:05 PM IST

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation founder and tech pioneer Bill Gates on December 8 applauded India for its policies on financial inclusion and innovation.

Gates even stated that based on India's approach to policy implementation, his philanthropic foundation is working with other countries to roll out open-source technologies.

"If people are going to study one country right now, other than China, I’d say they should look at India. Things are really exploding there and innovation around that system is phenomenal," Bloomberg quoted Bill Gates as saying at the Singapore Fintech Festival on Tuesday.

Bill Gates says COVID vaccine will aid growth, expects 6 jabs by spring 2021

Gates praised India for building ambitious platforms for universal identification and digital payments which include the world’s largest biometric database and a system for sending rupees between any bank or smartphone app. According to him, these policies have drastically reduced the cost and friction of distributing aid to the poor.

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As per details, post-demonetisation in 2016, the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, has been aided by booming smartphone use and wireless data rates. These are considered among the lowest in the world.

Currently, India has mandated firms to use its UPI platform so that payments can be sent easily among all services. The firms include Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc., Paytm, etc. Also, no user fee policy has to be maintained.

Meanwhile, India’s biometric system -- called Aadhaar -- did raise concerns on privacy as it can also be used for government surveillance of citizens. However, nations like Russia, Morocco and Bangladesh have expressed interest in the approach.

On COVID-19 vaccine development, Gates opined that addressing the concern should be done in an equitable way. Adding more, he said that his foundation is working with global manufacturers, making sure that sufficient dosage numbers at reasonable prices are manufactured. In India, B&MG Foundation is working with Serum Institute.
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