Tech pioneer Bill Gates praised India’s policies for financial innovation and inclusion, saying his philanthropic foundation is working with other countries to roll out open-source technologies modeled on the country’s implementation. India has built ambitious platforms for universal identification and digital payments, including the world’s largest biometric database and a system for sending rupees between any bank or smartphone app. Gates said those policies have drastically reduced the cost and friction of distributing aid to the poor, especially during the pandemic.
“If people are going to study one country right now, other than China, I’d say they should look at India,” Gates said at the Singapore Fintech Festival. “Things are really exploding there and innovation around that system is phenomenal. India is a great example,” the co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said during the virtual conference. His organization is now helping some countries that don’t have established standards to roll out similar systems based on open-source technologies.