World Economy

India Has Higher Potential to Lead in Digital Economy

India Has Higher Potential to Lead in Digital EconomyIndia Has Higher Potential to Lead in Digital Economy

India has a strong potential in its shift toward a digital economy and is attracting investors for the opportunities that come with the country’s transition to a cashless society, according to Mastercard’s Digital Evolution Index 2017.

The Mastercard index placed India in the “Break Out” list—together with the likes of China, Russia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil—for generating huge investor interest despite relatively lower levels of digital advancement, Reuters reported.

“The Break Out segment refers to countries that have relatively lower absolute levels of digital advancement, yet remain poised for growth and are attractive to investors by virtue of their potential,” Mastercard said.

The American financial services major said The Digital Evolution Index is a comprehensive research that tracks the progress countries have made in developing their digital economies and integrating connectivity into the lives of billions.

“India has been experiencing rapid strides of progress with an evolving payments landscape, catalyzed by the government’s demonetization decision,” Mastercard said in a statement.

The Indian government in December announced incentives ranging from 0.75% to 10% on retail purchase of products such as petrol, diesel and insurance products from state-run companies to encourage digital, cashless transactions.

The announcement came a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetized 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee banknotes in a bid to flush out cash earned through illegal means, or earned legally but never disclosed.

The government’s endeavor to boost the acceptance of infrastructure, coupled with a host of other economic reforms, have further hastened the momentum for India’s journey toward a cashless society,” Mastercard said.

Technology companies say that India’s digital economy has a potential to reach $4 trillion, four times higher than the government estimate of $1 trillion, from its current $450 billion size.

“With new players foraying into the market and an entire gamut of solutions for alternate payments, the India payment ecosystem is growing each day,” Porush Singh, Mastercard’s country corporate officer for South Asia, said in the statement.

Meanwhile, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Singapore, South Korea, Britain, Hong Kong and the US were named the ten most advanced digital economies.

Countries such as Singapore, Britain, New Zealand, UAE, Estonia, Hong Kong and Japan were included in the “Stand Out” list while countries in western Europe, the Nordics, Australia and South Korea were designated as “Stall Out” countries for their slowing momentum despite a history of strong growth.



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