Digital Payments South Asia was held at the Lalit Mumbai on 13-14 November. The conference was attended by 138 delegates from India, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, France, Germany and the Czech Republic. 
What people said about us

"APSCA organized a wonderful interactive session. The event was truly amazing and knowledgeable."
Satish Merwade, Manager, BBPS, NPCI

"APSCA conferences give significant insights on the payments trends evolving across several Asian countries. It felt enriching to be a part of this conference."
Nikhil Sawaitul, Associate Director II, Payments & Fintech Partnerships, IDFC Bank

"It was a great event, good opportunity for me to know more about what’s coming next for the Indian market: UPI, NCMC, RBI guidelines…many topics of importance to understand the trends and evolution of payments in India."
Vincent DUPUY, Business Analyst – Strategy, Linxens
Mobile Wallets and Interoperability
  • In October 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued directions on interoperability for Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), including mobile wallets. This appears to be a growing regulatory trend in payments and settlement systems in Asia. 
  • PPI interoperability means that mobile wallets can now also have access to EMV card rails by (directly) joining card network for issuance and operation of cards. This move is expected to increase the overall acceptance of non-bank PPI products. 
  • PPI interoperability is expected to benefit the growth of the payments ecosystem in India by reducing complexity, and accelerating innovation and competition. Card payments will grow as more wallets will issue cards. 

Real-Time Payments - UPI
  • Mobile wallets are now facing competition from the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) available to customers through mobile apps and is also being used for high-frequency, low-value real-time payment transactions. 
  • Although mobile wallet transactions have now passed their demonetisation high (Q1 2017) of 320M transactions, UPI transactions are growing much faster, having increased from 2M in December 2016 to over 482M in Oct 2018.  
  • Although UPI payments were originally used primarily for high-frequency, low-value payments, the monthly UPI transaction value is gaining on the monthly transaction value of credit and debit card payments at the POS in India. 
  • Bankers and other payments industry stakeholders attending Digital Payments South Asia 2018 were generally of the opinion that UPI payments are likely to overtake other traditional e-payment modes in the next 3-5 years. 
  • UPI 2.0 includes new features designed to support consumer to merchant payments and accelerate retail UPI payment transactions. These include One-Time Block Mandate, Invoice in the Inbox, Signed QR and Deferred Payments via Overdraft. 

Financial Inclusion
  • The Government of India Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) is designed to improve public service delivery by ensuring efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of government subsidies, benefits and services to beneficiaries.
  • Over 434 schemes of 56 central government ministries and 3,405 state government schemes are part of the DBT platform which has over 1.27 billion beneficiaries. Over 5 trillion Rupees has been transferred through DBT since inception.  
  • The DBT platform uses the Aadhaar identity scheme to enable targeted beneficiary identification through authentication and de-duplication. Aadhaar also supports the financial addressing and facilitates seamless financial transaction. 
  • Payment of funds to the beneficiary accounts is done through the Aadhaar Payments Bridge (APB) while last mile access to the funds by the beneficiary is done using the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) and micro-ATMs, post offices etc. 

Contactless Payments in Retail and Transport 
  • India’s Ministry of Finance has requested all banks to issue all new cards as contactless cards, but there is no similar directive on contactless retail acceptance and no industry collaboration to drive a transition to contactless payments. 
  • The Government of India has now put its weight firmly behind the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) initiative and the local standard supporting EMV contactless payment cards with a stored value facility for off-line payments in transit. 
  • With the government focused on driving the NCMC standard for transport payments, even the international payment schemes are now developing unique-for-India contactless card payment products to support NCMC.
  • Some transport authorities have also implemented QR code payments. The most innovative scheme so far is Mumbai Metro One which allows QR codes to be used for single journeys, return journeys, stored value and multiple trip passes.

Next Generation Cards
  • Next-generation cards, sometimes referred to as powered cards, now include mature products such as display cards (OTP), dynamic code verification cards, biometric cards and cards with aesthetic features and indicators.
  • Dynamic code verification (DCVx) card solutions offer an additional layer of security for card-not-present (CNP) transactions with an unchanged online checkout process that requires no changes for customers and merchants. 
  • Biometric smart cards have momentum and may overtake the initial launches of DCVx card products to become the first mainstream next-generation card solution, due to a strong business case for biometric EMV contactless payment cards.  
→ A complete report of the conclusions from Digital Payments South Asia is available to APSCA India members - please email
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