Philippines, India to boost fintech cooperation

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and India Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran displayed the newly signed memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and India to boost cooperation in financial technology.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine and Indian governments have agreed to boost cooperation and further develop financial technology in the country.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and India Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Santha Kumaran inked a memorandum of understanding to improve fintech.

The MOU will result in the creation of a joint working group on fintech with India’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance.

The creation of a JWG is expected to facilitate inter-governmental discussions on the exchange of best practices to improve policies and regulatory connection.

It also aims to promote cooperation in the development of fintech solutions for business or financial sectors, as well as develop international standards by encouraging the creation of an international version of Application Programming Interfaces (API).

Diokno maintained that India is a rising economic powerhouse, with expertise in digital technology.

“On the other, the Philippines hosts a young and tech-savvy talent pool that can provide the intellectual capital needed to succeed in the digital economy,” Diokno said.

Ambassador Kumaran said that India has seen an exponential growth in digital payments.

“Currently, we are at the level of a hundred billion digital payments a year, with the flagship unified payments interface itself becoming one of the primary drivers of a cashless, digitalized economy,” he said.

The JWG will be co-chaired by the DOF and the DEA.

Members from the Philippine government include the Department of Foreign Affairs, National Economic and Development Authority, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Information and Communication Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission, and Philippine Statistics Authority.

Meanwhile, members from India are the DEA, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Union Identification Authority of India, Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, Ministry of External Affairs, International Financial Services Center Authority, and Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.

Diokno noted that the initiative is also part of the administration’s push toward digital transformation.

As such, the government is pushing for the e-governance bill that aims to promote the use of information and communications technologies to provide faster and improved delivery of services to the public.

It also targets to promote greater financial inclusion nationwide.

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