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Almost Half Of The Global Real-Time Payments In 2022 From India: RBI

Digital payment transactions in India is more than the other four leading countries combined, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said yesterday at the Global Fintech Festival in Mumbai.

By Govindraj Ethiraj
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india payments
On today’s episode, financial journalist Govindraj Ethiraj talks to Peter McGuire, CEO of XM Australia as well as Dr Rashmi Hegde, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline.

Our Top Reports For Today

  • [00:50] India accounted Almost Half of the global real-time payments in 2022: RBI
  • [06:50] Crude prices hit $90 a barrel, fears of $100 sweep the markets.
  • [13:04] Rupee hits an all time low against the dollar, again.
  • [15:43] A vaccine for Shingles leads the way to more vaccines as preventive cures.


NOTE: This transcript contains only the host's monologue and does not include any interviews or discussions that might be within the podcast. Please refer to the episode audio if you wish to quote the people interviewed. Email [email protected] for any queries.

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India Scores Half World’s Real Time Payments

India accounted for 46 per cent of the global real-time payments in 2022. Digital payment transactions in India is more than the other four leading countries combined, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said yesterday at the Global Fintech Festival in Mumbai.

He also said  as per the World Bank's Global Findex Database 2021, 76% of adults worldwide had access to an account in a bank or a regulated financial institution as compared to 51% in 2011. In comparison, the percentage of adults in India who had access to bank accounts increased from 35% in 2011 to 78% in 2021. 

Moreover, he said India’s fintech industry could generate around $200 billion in revenue in 7 years time to 2030 and could potentially contribute to approximately 13 percent of the global fintech industry's total revenue of $1.5 trillion. 

The global fintech sector currently generates about 245 billion US dollars of annual revenue, which is merely two per cent of the global financial services revenue, according to the RBI Governor. 

Das also highlighted that digital transactions in India increased from 1.2 billion in 2014 to 90 billion in 2022. Earlier this year, data from MyGovIndia showed that India has recorded 89.5 million digital transactions in the year 2022. 

The RBI Governor also urged fintech players to form a self-regulatory organisation at the earliest, while addressing the fintech fest. 

Das also plugged the central bank digital currency saying the RBI was planning to test some more use cases  in the wholesale pilot of central bank digital currency (CBDC).

He referred to the CBDC-Retail Pilot launched on December 1, 2022 and which covered both Person to Person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M) transactions. 

The pilot is testing the robustness of the entire process of digital rupee creation, distribution and retail usage in real time. The pilot is currently being operated through 13 banks across 26 cities. Around 1.46 million users and 0.31 million merchants are currently part of the pilot as on August 31, 2023.

The Governor says there is full interoperability of CBDC with UPI QR codes and is targeting one million CBDC transactions per day by December 2023 which would provide enough data points to study various design choices, use cases and behavioural patterns.

He also outlined the linkages between growing financial inclusion and growing mobile connectivity. In his words.

OIL PRICES SHOOT UP

Oil prices softened a little yesterday after crossing $90 a barrel the day before, sending jitters through global markets and leading to speculation that a $100 a barrel day was not far off.

Oil prices eased on a firmer dollar and investors paid less heed to supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and Russia.

A stronger dollar can generally influence oil demand because it makes the fuel more expensive for holders of other currencies.

On Tuesday, oil prices rose to their highest since November, or a 10-month high, after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their voluntary supply cuts to the end of the year.

This obviously got people worried given that winter is now starting to approach and energy demand goes up in this period.

"With the production cut extended, we anticipate a market deficit of more than 1.5 million barrels per day in 4Q23," UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo wrote in a note to clients. UBS now expects Brent crude to rise to $95 a barrel by year-end, reported Reuters.

To see where oil prices were headed and more importantly, what was likely to drive them, I spoke to Peter McGuire, CEO of XM Australia and someone who tracks several global asset classes, including in the region. Peter joined us from Sydney in Australia and I began by asking him what was suddenly driving up prices. 

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Speaking about a firmer dollar, Bloomberg is reporting that authorities in China and Japan are stepping up efforts to defend their currencies against a surging dollar that threatens to fan inflationary pressures.

Japan on Wednesday issued its strongest warning in weeks against rapid declines in the yen. 

Shortly after, China’s central bank offered the most forceful guidance on record with its daily reference rate for the yuan, as the managed currency weakened to a level unseen since 2007.

The dollar’s strength has also weighed on European currencies, with the euro and the pound dropping to their weakest levels since June on Tuesday.

Back home, the rupee on Wednesday fell by 10 paise to close at an all-time low of 83.14 against the United States dollar.

The currency had hit its lowest level of 83.13 on August 21.

In other and stock markets, the BSE Sensex closed up with a gain of 100 

points at 65,881. The NSE Nifty50 closed at  19,611 – up 36 points. The NSE 

benchmark interestingly has closed above 19,600 levels after nearly a month, 

having gained 357 points in the previous four trading sessions.

Haldirams

You must have encountered the brand Haldiram over the years in many places, on packets of large and small bhujia snacks and restaurants under the same name. 

Several suitors have seen them too and not surprisingly want to buy it.

Tata Group's consumer unit is in talks to buy at least 51% of popular Indian snack food maker Haldiram's but is holding out on valuation, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Haldiram's, a household name in India, is also talking with private equity firms including Bain Capital about the sale of a 10% stake, they said.

Tata Consumer Products, which owns UK tea company Tetley and has a partnership with Starbucks in India, is negotiating the stake purchase, the sources said.

A spokesperson for Tata Consumer Products said it "does not comment on market speculation". Haldiram's Chief Executive Krishan Kumar Chutani and Bain declined to comment.

Haldiram traces its origins back to a tiny shop founded in 1937.

It has almost 13% share of India's $6.2 billion savoury snack market, according to Euromonitor International. Pepsi, famous for its Lay's chips, also has around 13%, Reuters said.

Haldiram's snacks are also sold in overseas markets like Singapore and the United States. The company has around 150 restaurants selling local food, sweets and western cuisine.

Vaccines, A New Way of Life

We usually take a whole bunch of vaccines as children and then forget about them. And only encounter them again when administering to the next generation.

Covid of course changed that.

For the first time in a few decades, depending on how old you were, you lined up to get vaccinated, not once, but even thrice.

A few months ago, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals launched a vaccine for Shingles, rather to prevent it in adults over 50 years.

Before we come to the vaccine, a quick definition.

The Mayo Clinic says Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash and can occur anywhere on your body. It typically looks like a single stripe of blisters that wraps around the left side or the right side of your torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. Shingles aren't life-threatening. But it can be very painful. Vaccines can help lower the risk of shingles, says the Mayo Clinic.

GSK’s Shingrix for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) and post-herpetic neuralgia in adults aged 50 years and above is one such vaccine.

GSK says a seroprevalence study in Indian subjects showed that by the age of 40 years more than 90% had this virus in their body and were vulnerable to shingles.

How does the Shingles vaccine from GSK work and more importantly are we likely to see more vaccines to address disease conditions, as preventives rather than curatives that we are used to.

I spoke with Dr Rashmi Hegde, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs at GSK and began by asking her to tell me about the new vaccine.

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China Bans iPhones in Govt Offices

In another sign of how Governments could crack down on unfriendly technologies without going all the way, China ordered officials at central government agencies not to use  iPhones and other foreign-branded devices for work or bring them into the office, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

In recent weeks, staff were given the instructions by their superiors in workplace chat groups or meetings, the people said. The directive is the latest step in Beijing’s campaign to cut reliance on foreign technology and enhance cybersecurity, and comes amid a campaign to limit flows of sensitive information outside of China’s borders.

Apple could be hit, though how badly is not clear since this current directive touches on Government officials. Apple counts China as one of its biggest markets, relying on it for about 19% of its overall revenue, says the WSJ.

Beijing has for years restricted government officials at some agencies from using iPhones for work, but the order has now been widened, the WSJ said. 

China’s restriction mirrors similar bans in the U.S. against Huawei as well as against officials using Chinese-owned TikTok.

Interestingly, two years ago, the Chinese government restricted the use of Tesla vehicles by military staff and employees of key state-owned companies, citing concerns that data the cars gather could be a source of national-security leaks, according to The Wall Street Journal.