November 22, 2016

USAID Launches Catalyst to Drive Cashless Payments in India

Written by USAID

This post originally appeared on USAID.

Marks the Next Phase of Partnership between USAID and Ministry of Finance to Facilitate Universal Financial Inclusion

For Immediate Release
Friday, October 14, 2016
Neha Khator
91 11 2419 8000

New Delhi: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today the launch of a new initiative “Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership” ( is external)). This multi-stakeholder partnership is designed to scale digital payments systems in India, catalyzing an exponential increase in cashless payments in select geographic locations. These locations will be selected based on criteria such as smartphone penetration, the local economy, and administrative feasibility.

This launch marks the next phase of partnership between USAID and India’s Ministry of Finance to help catalyze the rapid adoption of digital payments in India as a step toward achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of universal financial inclusion to end “economic untouchability” in India.

As noted by the White House during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States in June, “the United States and India recognize the importance of efforts to expand financial inclusion as a means to fostering inclusive economic growth.”
Housed within the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) and supported through USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) program with FHI360, Catalyst will combine new technology, business models, and institutional innovations to help merchants and consumers, in particular low-income and disadvantaged populations, participate in India’s growing digital economy.

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