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IIT Madras researchers develop voice-based vernacular solutions for digital payment

May 10, 2021

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras are all set to make digital payments more accessible for a larger mass of people working by towards the development of voice-based solutions, particularly in vernacular languages for digital money transactions.

This is being done in association with the Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI). Researchers believe that this platform will not just increase the adoption of digital payments but also assist further research.

MPFI 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.

Currently, according to a statement by IIT Madras, there are over 100 million active UPI users every month in India. They cite that these figures are estimates as per data by the government of India.  The target of MPFI is to bring at least 500 million active users on UPI payment platforms by 2025.

With the union government making an allocation of Rs 1,500 crore towards driving digital payments, the MPFI is working to identify innovation across three levels; human behavior and adoption, technology (design and safeguards), and policy (a data-centric view), to propel India over the next decade.

Dr. Gaurav Raina, Faculty, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras, and Chairman, MPFI, 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.”

Speaking about IIT Madras’s contribution, Dr Raina, said, “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.”

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 IIT Madras researchers will be working on will be machine learning and artificial intelligence, as applied to the digital payments space.

The duo hope that the collaboration will make the technology backend robust and secure, providing customized financial solutions and increased push towards digital payment modes.

Also read: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021: IIT Madras among top 30

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