Building India’s digital infrastructure

Srikanth Rajagopalan

Updated on Apr 27, 2023

What do most people understand when they hear the word “infrastructure”? Ports, airports, roads, railways, power plants, metro rail, etc. come to mind immediately. The common theme around them is the fact that they are not useful by themselves. Rather, they are useful for what they enable others to do.

Ports enable ships and tankers to import and export commodities like oil, grains, and chemicals. Airports allow people to travel to see their loved ones or to do business. Roads and railways allow the movement of people and goods across the length and breadth of the country. Power plants generate the energy required to run industry, commerce, and households.

India today is creating another class of infrastructure – Digital Public Infrastructure, or DPI.

India, through India Stack, became the first country to develop three foundational DPIs: Aadhar (identity), UPI (payments), and Account Aggregators (data).

Aadhaar allowed people to easily and safely create an identity for themselves, and prove that they were who they were to service providers. This in turn transformed the way we could open bank accounts, get a SIM card, or avail government services such as subsidies, driving licenses and so on. As of December 2022, Aadhaar processes over 70 million authentication transactions a day, a majority of which are fingerprint-based authentications, indicating their usage for everyday use cases

Similarly, UPI allowed people to easily create a “Virtual Payment Address” (VPA) on top of their existing bank accounts and easily and safely send and receive money without having to open a new account or get a new instrument such as a debit card. As of February 2023, UPI is live with 390 banks, and processes ~ 8 bn transactions a month, a majority of which are P2M transactions, indicating their use for everyday payments

As a result, consumers and merchants alike are far more “data rich” and are poised to make the best use of their data for their benefit. Which is where Anumati comes in.

Anumati as Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI)

Anumati is an Account Aggregator (AA) licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Anumati allows people to create a simple ID such as <mobile number@anumati> and easily and safely share their data for their own benefit. At the time of writing this post, over 305 financial institutions are onboard the AA network. Over 4 million consumer accounts have been linked via various AAs and over 5 million consents have been served as of March 2023. Starting with bank accounts, Anumati will soon cover all other financial assets that a customer holds – shares, mutual funds, insurance policies and so on. Moreover, small businesses can link their GSTN accounts to access and share these data for lenders for availing quick and timely loans.

True to the spirit of Digital Public Infrastructure, we measure ourselves by the value we create for our stakeholders:

  1. Educating consumers about their privacy rights and responsibilities to keep their data safe
  2. Enabling consumers to share their data with their consent for their benefit.
  3. Working with financial institutions to innovate on behalf of their customers by leveraging the huge amounts of consented, authentic, machine-readable data available through Anumati.
  4. Helping financial institutions leverage Anumati as a regulated and effective path to ensuring compliance with the upcoming Digital Data Protection Bill

If you are regulated by any one of the Financial Sector Regulators (RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, PFRDA), discover the power of Anumati today. Sign up here

Author Name: Srikanth Rajagopalan

Designation: CEO, Perfios Account Aggregation Services Pvt. Ltd.

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