India is witnessing an explosion of financial technology () innovation and enterprise, making the country the best destination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the ’s largest gathering of fintech firms in Singapore on Wednesday as he exhorted that fintech can be used to fight global financial crimes.

“I say this to all the fintech companies and startups: India is your best destination,” , the keynote speaker at the Singapore Fintech Festival, said. “Just as India’s scale brought down the LED price, it will also enable fintech products to achieve scale, reduce risks and costs, and go global.”

“There is an explosion of fintech innovation and enterprise in India. It has turned India into a leading fintech and nation in the world. The future of fintech and Industry 4.0 is emerging in India.”

Modi is in Singapore till Friday. He is scheduled to attend a series of summits, including an Asean meeting. The Singapore fintech festival is the biggest event of its kind in the world, attended by both industry leaders and smaller startups.

On the occasion, Modi launched Application Programming Interface Exchange (APIX), a banking technology designed to reach two billion people without bank accounts worldwide.

To begin with, APIX will connect Indian and Asean fintech companies and financial institutions. It will eventually connect Indian companies to banks and financial institutions globally.

APIX has been started by Asean Financial Innovation Network (AFIN) and established by Asean Bankers’ Association, World Bank-IFC and Monetary Authority of Singapore.

“It was here, in June this year, that I launched India’s RuPay card and the first international remittance app using India’s world-class Unified Payment Interface or UPI,” the prime minister recalled.

Modi said fintech should be used to combat money laundering and other financial crimes, and improve the human condition “through direct contact with the most marginalised”.

He said financial inclusion has become a reality for 1.3 billion Indians. He outlined the impact of the Indian government’s work, pointing out the creation of biometric identities through Aadhaar and the opening of new bank accounts.

“More than a billion biometric identities, more than a billion bank accounts and more than a billion cell phones give India by far the biggest public infrastructure in the world,” he said.

“The fintech festival is also a celebration of belief. Belief in the spirit of innovation and the power of imagination. Belief in the energy of youth and their passion for change.”

“My government came to office in 2014 with a mission of inclusive development that would touch the lives of every citizen – the weakest in the remotest village…With the power of fintech and the reach of digital , we have started a revolution of unprecedented speed and scale,” Modi pointed out.

Indian story shows six great benefits of fintech: Access, inclusion, connectivity, ease of living, opportunity and accountability, the PM noted.

“We can use fintech to ensure that no dream remains unfulfilled, and no enterprise remains still born because of lack of access to finance.”



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