Published: 10th May 2021
Want to transfer money? All you need to do is say it out loud: IITM to develop voice-based solutions for digital transactions
The role of IIT Madras will also be to provide thought leadership in driving digital payments in India to the next level
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) researchers is set to collaborate with members of the Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI) to develop voice-based solutions, especially in multiple vernacular languages for digital money transactions in the country with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. This, in turn, will provide a platform not only for the increased adoption of digital payments across India but for research opportunities as well in the digital payment space.
The role of IIT Madras will also be to provide thought leadership in driving digital payments in India to the next level. Among the key technical areas in which the researchers will be working are machine learning and artificial intelligence.
This will happen in two forms:
-Making the technology backend more robust and secure
-At the front end, as more people use digital payments, it will create a useful digital data history and footprint. Then using machine learning and artificial intelligence, one can aim to provide customised financial solutions, and other value-added services, which in turn will make it more attractive for more people to adopt digital modes of payments.
Dr Gaurav Raina from the Department of Electrical Engineering at IITM is the Chairman of MPFI, which is a joint initiative of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad and Rural Technology Business Incubator, IIT Madras. Taken up in 2006, the MPFI’s mission is to enable mobile payments and mobile financial services by everyone.
Elaborating on the importance of digital transactions during this pandemic period, Dr Raina said, “Digital and mobile payments, and in particular contactless payments, are important not just from an efficiency point of view, but also to mitigate risk against COVID-19. It provides a great opportunity to help yourself and also the ecosystem.”
Further, adding on the ways in which IITM will bring its expertise in coordination with other stakeholders, he added, “This is the perfect time to build research collaborations to work towards solutions which will be cutting edge and will also be truly impactful, at scale, within India. Such research-based solutions can help India lead the way globally in the delivery of mobile-based financial services.”
At present, there are more than 100 million active UPI users every month in India, as per the Government of India’s statistics. These initiatives are being taken up by MPFI towards bringing 500 million active users on to the UPI payment platforms by 2025. The Central Government in its last Budget had allocated Rs 1,500 crore to help drive the adoption of digital payments in the country. The MPFI is working to identify innovation across three levels — human behaviour and adoption, technology (design and safeguards), and policy (a data-centric view), to propel India over the next decade.