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India expecting gov stack, UPI payments to go global as 7 countries to sign up

India expecting gov stack, UPI payments to go global as 7 countries to sign up

Seven countries are expected to sign up with Indian authorities to begin using the India Stack suite of digital public goods, reports The Economic Times, informed by the minister of state for electronics and information technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Particularly of interest is DigiLocker, and a source states that France, Singapore and Dubai have already expressed plans to integrate some of the offering.

India is taking its gov tech solutions to the World Government Summit in Dubai in mid-February, where it expects to sign the deals. This week there has been a developers’ conference at home to demonstrate the products to foreign embassy officials, state and central government and startups as well as app developers and system integrators.

DigiLocker is the most coveted. A cloud-based platform for the storage, sharing and verification of documents and certificates, for individuals it works as a digital wallet and has recently been integrated with WhatsApp. The Economic Times states it has 144 million users so far in India.

The minister said ahead of the developers’ conference that it will help countries which currently have insufficient digital infrastructure or skills to implement parts of the India Stack and that courses will lead to India Stack certified developers and certified system integrators.

As well as DigiLocker, also on offer are the Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP, a platform for running a national digital identity scheme for avoiding vendor lock-in), the real-time payments system Unified Payments Interface (UPI), India’s Covid vaccination platform CoWIN and Health Stack.

An unnamed source told the ET that Singapore, France and Dubai have already announced their plans to use UPI and that the country has offered the system to all central banks.

Non-resident Indians will soon be able to use UPI in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Qatar.

The source also said that in the cases where countries are going through the process of implementation, what is pending are agreements with regulators. Wherever a country wants to implement part of the India Stack, expertise will be available to help them.

India’s digital governance technologies were recently highly praised by the IMF ahead of the country taking up presidency of the G20. The digital infrastructure, underpinned by structural reform and connected to the national biometric digital ID, Aadhaar, establish India as a “bright spot” in the global economy, according to IMF director Kristalina Georgieva.

The IMF is collaborating with India in developing gov tech.

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