The panelists included Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog; Rajnish Kumar, the Chairman of SBI; Greta Bull, the CEO of CGAP; Dilip Asbe, the CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India; and Hari Menon, Country Director—India at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Graham Wright, the Group Managing Director of MSC, moderated the discussion.

The panel discussed the role of India’s digital financial infrastructure in enabling direct benefit transfers worth USD 7.5 billion to 420 billion poor people during the current pandemic. It took India almost a decade of concerted efforts toward financial inclusion and setting up a robust digital financial infrastructure to enable this scale of cash support payments.

The panel focussed on the following five key topics:

  • The role of digital financial infrastructure in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Establishing a digital infrastructure in India;
  • Practical insights from the rollout of emergency cash support transfers, covering both CICO agents and the payment infrastructure;
  • Lessons from India for other developing nations;
  • Ways in which countries can build digital infrastructures amid the COVID-19 crisis.

A recording of the webinar is available at

The webinar was covered by various media outlets. To explore the key highlights in detail, check out the following media reports:

DD News

The Hindu (Business Line)

The Economics Times


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