Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras researchers on Monday said that they will collaborate with members of the Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI) to develop voice-based solutions in multiple vernacular languages to enable larger adoption of digital money transactions in the country.

“At present, there are more than 100 million active Unified Payments Interface (UPI) users every month in India, as per the Indian government’s statistics. These initiatives are being taken up by MPFI towards bringing 500 million active users by 2025,” said an official statement.

It added that the collaboration between IIT Madras researchers and MPFI will “provide a phenomenal platform not only for the increased adoption of digital payments in India but for research opportunities as well.”

Explaining the importance of digital transactions during this pandemic, Dr Gaurav Raina, Faculty, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras, and MPFI Chairman, 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.”

Among the key technical areas in which IIT Madras researchers will be working are machine learning and artificial intelligence, as applied to the digital payments space.

“The Indian government, in the last Budget, allocated 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,” the statement further read.

Meanwhile, the digital transactions through BHIM UPI in April this year fell by 2.2 per cent from a month ago to 4.94 lakh crore, data from the NPCI showed on Saturday.

There were transactions worth 5.05 lakh crore in March 2021.

The total number of transactions stood at 2.64 billion during the month, down by 3.3 per cent from 2.73 billion in March.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an umbrella body of all retail payments system in the country.

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