Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said data security is the top priority even as the country plans to keep working towards the ease of financial services in the next 25 years. The FM says there is a need to prepare for investments in areas related to fintech, and understand how blockchain technology can be deployed to drive growth. 

"We need to ensure personal data security, national security, and cyber security," finance minister Nirmala Sitahraman says during a session on the future of finance at the FICCI Leads India 2022 event in New Delhi. 

On being asked about the future of finance, the FM says it may be difficult to put one's hand on a particular aspect of finance in future but cautioned there is a need to plan with a sense of urgency, for something that’s very volatile and impacted by extraneous factors.  

"In two years, digitisation of payment portals is one of the exemplar cases showing that scaling up has happened in the financial world. Definitely, a big investment layer is growing in the tech side of finance. Use of blockchain is expected to rise by 46% within the next 4 years," Sitharaman says. 

"(There is) Scope for understanding how this will drive growth. We need to be ready for investment in these areas. Investors are looking at investing in not-so-traditional areas," Sitharaman says, adding that she sees a big role for artificial intelligence in the area of fraud prevention. 

Claiming the future of finance in India will be driven by digitisation, the FM says seven countries have shown interest in India's United Payments Interface (UPI). She says data security is the top priority for the country. 

"Seven countries have evinced interest in our UPI system. RuPay is acceptable in the UAE. Singapore, too, has evinced interest while an MoU has been signed with France," she adds.

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