Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the banking world witnessed a huge surge in transactions, one such payment infrastructure was AePS in India. Many providers and government DBT schemes resorted to AePS which led to a huge demand for cash withdrawal by the vulnerable part of the society. This became a much severe issue during the migrant worker's crisis who had to uproot their lives and depend on microATMs for their travel and survival. The issue got accentuated when reports of a spike in transaction failure rates started flooding in. This had serious consequences for the masses who desperately needed to access and remit cash to stay afloat during the crisis. In this episode, we are joined by Malavika Raghavan to talk about the role of technology in enabling financial inclusion, especially among lower-income individuals.
Malavika joined London School of Economics this September as a Ph.D. candidate. She is an interdisciplinary researcher working on data protection & privacy, inclusion, technology and consumer protection in finance. She founded and led the Future of Finance Initiative for Dvara Research in partnership with the Gates Foundation from 2016 until 2020, anchoring its research agenda and policy advocacy on issues at the intersection of technology, finance and inclusion. She serves on the Steering Committees of the Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIRI) at the Indian School of Business, and the Steering Committee of the Data Governance Network at the IDFC Institute. She is a member of the Asian Privacy Scholars Network.
In this episode, we discuss the role of technology in enabling financial inclusion, especially among lower-income individuals. The discussion draws on Malavika's research into the gaps in the AePS and their implications (conducted in May 2020). You can find the link to the report titled, "Transaction failure rates in the Aadhaar enabled Payment System: Urgent issues for consideration and proposed solutions", below: