BENGALURU: Infosys Chairperson and India’s Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani on Friday said that countries like France and India have the potential to work together on Aadhaar-like account-aggregator infrastructure that leverages data for accessibility to financial services.
“We built our Aadhaar system on biometric de-duplication and France is a leader in such services. The Aadhaar project enabled 400 million people get their bank accounts and also made it easier for the current government to transfer billions of dollars of cash directly to the accounts of poor people during the Covid pandemic,” Nilekani said, addressing a panel discussion themed ‘Why the future of fintech is French’.
He said that efforts are now afoot to leverage and democratise data and make it accessible to underserved populations who don’t have access to conventional banking facilities. “This account-aggregator programme will be rolled out under RBI’s watch and will be beneficial to those who don’t have credit-risk guarantees, but can avail loans based on their transaction history or salary slips,” Nilekani informed the panel.
He said that France is no alien to the evolving fintech ecosystem and had access to technology like midtel before internet came into being. “In Europe, and France in particular, the same thing is happening and therefore I see a great scope for cooperation between the two countries,” he added. Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, said that France is a hub of 1,000 startups and other young emerging companies, and hoped that both countries can work on technology solutions to drive growth as well as find solutions to leverage digital and AI technologies.
During the session, Souad Tenfiche-Ancelle, CEO, NUMA Bengaluru, announced the launch of Indo-French cross-border incubator dedicated to the startup ecosystem in both countries. The panelists said there is a potential for India and France to work in sectors like Big Data, infotech, payment system, AI and sustainable finance.
“Paris will mobilise the financial sector, including large companies to develop digital innovation. Emerging companies and unicorns in this sector have grown 3x in the last three years. Twenty-five new French unicorns may come up in the next five years. We seek to accelerate business opportunities in India, especially in cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai, as well as welcome fintech startups to France,” Lionel Baraben, CEO, Famaco, a French tech company said.