Digital payments is coming to India, a country considered to be one of the largest cash dependent nations in the world.
This week, Hitachi Payments announced that it has entered into a joint venture with the State Bank of India (SBI) to establish “a state-of-the-art card acceptance and future ready digital payments platform for India.”
Under the deal, Hitachi Payments will invest 26% to SBI Payment Services Pvt. Ltd., and will also provide SBI with innovative solutions using its Internet of Things (IoT) platform Lumada.
Hitachi has been SBI’s technology provider for card and digital services since 2011. The new partnership between the two companies is going to oversee the development of a nationwide digital payments platform. The platform will be geared towards solutions for ecommerce and mass transit in India integrated with Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions.
Bharat Kaushal, managing director of Hitachi India explains, “India is progressing towards becoming a knowledge economy with technology as the pivot. Hitachi is aiding in the development of India’s social infrastructure as well as giving a fillip to the economy. This mutually beneficial partnership with the financial giant SBI will allow us to widen our footprint pan India.”
Hitachi’s Lumada platform was implemented as the base platform for Mizuho Financial Group, a Japanese firm last year. The Lumada platform functions over a blockchain proof-of-concept (POC) network. Hitachi reportedly has about 55,000 ATMs and 850,000 point of sale (POS) devices under management in India. Hitachi is also a part of the multi-project open source collaborative effort hosted by The Linux Foundation.
On the other hand, SBI is a founding member of BankChain, a blockchain for banking research consortium. SBI has also been developing a blockchain solution since 2017 for managing know-your-customer (KYC) protocols. SBI is the largest commercial bank in India and has a 23% market share of assets market. The bank also serves over 420 million customers and maintains over 6 million POS terminals across the country.