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Banks should create a loan platform as seamless as UPI, urges Ashwini Vaishnaw

Vaishnaw’s comments come days after the RBI came out with its report on regulating digital lending.

"Can we create a platform as powerful and as good and as seamless and as digital as the UPI platform for providing very quick and very easy credit to the MSME, small industries, small businessmen, people really at the bottom of the pyramid?" Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Electronics and IT said to bankers during the recent AzadiKaAmritMahotsav event hosted by the IT Ministry (MeitY). The digital ecosystem for such a platform is available including Aadhaar, UPI, and Digilocker, the MeitY head mentioned. During the pandemic, financially stressed Indians relied heavily on quick loan apps for cash, turned away by traditional banks due to tedious processes and creditworthiness assessments. While filling that gap with regulated entities is welcome, banks will have to figure out how to avoid the pitfalls of predatory loan apps. The digital ecosystem you need to create this, is now available: Vaishnaw Speaking at the event, Vaishnaw challenged bankers to leverage India's digital ecosystem to make loans more accessible to small players: "In the Modi government, we are a government of the people at the bottom of the pyramid - MSMEs, small businesses, the kinds of people who are unable to come to you [bankers]. Can we create a platform as powerful and as good and as seamless and as digital as the UPI platform for providing very quick and very easy credit to the MSME, small industries, small businessmen, people really at the bottom of the pyramid? I don't know what the challenges are. I don't…

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