Global Fintech Fest 2023

Caption: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam unveiling a thought leadership report titled 'The Second Wave - Resilient, Inclusive, Exponential Fintech' after inaugurating the Global Fintech Fest 2023 on September 5. Others with her on the dais are (L- R) Yash Erande, Partner BCG; Saurabh Tripathi Global Practice Lead- Financial Institutions, Managing Director & Senior Partner, BCG; Vishwas Patel, Director, Infibeam Avenues Limited, and Chairman Payments Council of India; Naveen Surya, Chairman, Fintech Convergence Council and Member GFF 2023 Advisory Board; Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman GFF2023 Advisory Board, Chairman, Axilor Ventures and Co-founder, Infosys; G Padmanabhan, Former Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India and Member GFF 2023 Advisory Board; Praveena Rai, COO, National Payments Corporation of India; Dilip Asbe, MD and CEO, National Payments Corporation of India; Srinivas Jain, Executive Director and Head of Strategy, SBI Mutual Fund and Member GFF 2023 Advisory Board.

The fourth edition of the Global Fintech Fest was held September 5-7, 2023, at the Jio World Centre, Mumbai. GFF 2023 was supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY), the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) and was organized by the National Payments Corporation of India [NPCI] and IAMAI's Payments Council of India (PCI)and the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC).

Among the leading international agencies which partnered with GFF 2023 are the World Bank, the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and Women's World Banking. Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany and Israel were the Country Partners of GFF 2023.

The three-day conference brought together on one platform policymakers, regulators, bankers, industry captains, academicians and professionals of the fintech landscape from all over the world.

The conference was inaugurated by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs. Among other luminaries who addressed the conference were Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India; Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Minister of State for Finance, Government of India Smt. Madhabi Puri Buch, Chairperson, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI); Shri Debasish Panda, Chairperson, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI); Shri K Rajaraman, Chairperson, International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA), and Shri Dinesh Kumar Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India.

GFF 2023 was also marked by a significant global presence. Among international stalwarts who spoke at the conference were Mr. Maha Prasad Adhikari, Governor, Nepal Rastra Bank; Ms. Soraya M Hakuziyaremye Vice-Chairperson and Deputy Governor, National Bank of Rwanda; Mr. Aleksi Grym, Head of Fintech, Bank of Finland; Mr. Eduardo Enrique Torres Llosa Villacorta, General Manager, Central Bank of Peru; H.E. Khaled Al Basias, Director Financial Sector Development, Saudi Central Bank; Ms. Doris Dietze, Head of Digital Finance Division, Payment Services and Cybersecurity, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany; Mr. Masaki Bessho, Head of FinTech Centre, Payment & Settlement Systems Department, Bank of Japan; Mr. Andy White, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet) and Mr. Thomas Kurian, Chief Executive Officer, Google Cloud.

Following are the highlights of GFF 2023:

  • 900 speakers, from 30+ countries
  • Regulatory dignitaries from 100+ countries
  • 300+ exhibitors
  • 300+ investors – VCs, angels, PE funds
  • $ 2Bn Investment conversations
  • 100+ product launches
  • 80+ whitepapers released
  • 22 thought leadership report launches
  • 3 hackathons (SEBI, NABARD and SBI)
  • 65,000 footfalls from 100+ countries
IAMAI Submission and Counter-Comments to TRAI on Regulatory Mechanism for OTT Communication Services, and Selective Banning of OTT Services

IAMAI made a submission in response to TRAI's consultation paper on "Regulatory Mechanisms for Over-The-Top (OTT) Communication Services, and Selective Banning of OTT Services." In its submission, IAMAI raised concerns regarding the consultation paper seeking suggestions on a "collaborative framework" between 'OTT communication service providers' and 'licensed telecommunication service providers', as it appeared to be in sync with the demand of certain industry associations for the introduction of a revenue-sharing mechanism between OTTs and telecom service providers (TSPs).

IAMAI contended that such demands were based on the erroneous notion that OTT service providers consumed bandwidth and disregarded the fact that not OTT players but consumers themselves independently transacted and purchased data from TSPs. Prima facie, the 'collaborative frameworks' proposed in the consultation paper might lead to a violation of the net neutrality framework. Regarding imposing additional regulations upon OTT service providers, IAMAI pointed to the already existing robust regulatory frameworks for such services in India and stated that therefore there was no need to bring OTT service providers under any additional licensing/regulatory frameworks. As per IAMAI, attempts to bring OTT service providers under regulations typically reserved for telecom companies fail to recognise that telecom service providers (TSPs) are subject to a special regulatory and licensing regime as they control valuable national resources such as spectrum. Therefore, the introduction of a telecom regulatory regime for OTT service providers would be an act of over-regulation.

IAMAI also submitted counter comments in response to some of the points raised in representations made by certain other organisations to TRAI on its consultation paper "Regulatory Mechanism for Over-The-Top (OTT) Communication Services, and Selective Banning of OTT Services". In its counter comments, IAMAI flagged demands made by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). The COAI had called for regulatory intervention to ensure "largest traffic originators" pay a 'fair share charge' to telecom companies to account for capital investments made by the latter to "accommodate surging data traffic". Similarly, ICRIER called for the imposition of a 'Broadband Infrastructure Levy' to be applied at 3% of India operations of "significant" OTT service providers based on "specialized contracts" between service providers and network operators. In response, IAMAI contended that by requiring "largest" OTT service providers to pay TSPs for data used by consumers, TSPs would effectively be charging twice for the same service - as they already charge consumers for data. In any case, "surging data traffic" is merely data consumed by consumers that they have already purchased from telecom companies. Therefore, the "strain" on infrastructure of TSPs occurs when they sell data to consumers beyond their infrastructural capacity – a fact that had been conveniently ignored.

IAMAI Letter to DoT
IAMAI wrote to the Department of Telecommunications arguing for allowing digital display of information related to Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) value and other safety precautions in smartphone booklets provided by mobile manufacturers. Listing the many advantages of a shift to digital display of such information, IAMAI also highlighted that the use of digital modes of accessing important regulatory information had already been adopted by various other ministries and regulators in India. Accordingly, IAMAI requested the Department of Telecommunications to extend a similar regulatory allowance for permitting information related to SAR value and safety precautions to be made available online or through QR Codes/e-labels.
IAMAI Gaming Committee Participates in the Karnataka AVGC Policy Stakeholder Consultation
The Digital Gaming Committee of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) participated in a stakeholders' consultation held for the Karnataka AVGC Policy 2023-28 on September 7, 2023. The secretariat of the committee highlighted the need for alignment between the policies of the centre and the state and regulations governing the sector. The committee also underlined the importance of prioritising skilling and training programmes across emerging clusters and expanding events showcasing Indian gaming companies to attract FDI. The Digital Gaming Committee shared a detailed submission with the Karnataka IT Department following the consultation.  
IAMAI Digital Gaming Committee Meeting
IAMAI hosted the second Digital Gaming Committee meeting for FY 2023-24 on September 21, 2023. The Chair of the committee, Mr. Bhavin Pandya, CEO and Co-founder, Games24x7, convened the committee meeting and highlighted the need for the committee charter and agenda to orient towards the entire ecosystem.  The committee strategized and discussed the workplan for the upcoming quarter, including a sectoral report and conference.
IAMAI Digital Entertainment Committee Meeting
A meeting of the Digital Entertainment Committee meeting was held on September 23, 2023. During the meeting the secretariat updated members on the work done from April to September 2023. The ongoing regulatory developments within the Digital Entertainment sector were also discussed at length.
10th Marketing Marsters' Meet in Phuket

The Digital Advertising Committee of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) organised the 10th Marketing Masters' Meet, from September 8 to 11, 2023, in Phuket. Twenty-four marketing leaders, CMOs, and industry aficionados participated in the off-site. They gained insights from leading experts, explored cutting-edge marketing strategies, and forged connections with an elite network of professionals. The event covered a wide range of topics, from deep dives into digital marketing to mastering the art of branding and enhancing customer experiences.

Attendees left equipped with invaluable knowledge and tools to elevate their brands to new heights. The brands which were represented at the Meet were: Ace Turtle; Adani Group; Apollo; Bajaj Allianz General Insurance; Crowdstrike; (; Freo; HDFC Bank; Home Credit India; & Makaan; Junglee Games; Kotak Mahindra Bank; Niva Bupa Health Insurance; Phool; Physics Wallah; Raymond Limited; Reliance Jio Mart; Reliance Retail; RupeeRedee; Tata CLiQ; Unity Small Finance Bank; Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting; Wow Skin Science, and Yubi.

Participants of the 10th Marketing Masters’ Meet in Phuket
Roundtables on the Power of Email Marketing

The Digital Advertising Committee of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), in collaboration with MessageBird, organised two roundtables conference on "Email Alchemy: Transforming Deliverability into Gold" in September. The first one was held on September 5, 2023, in Mumbai, and the second one on September 21, 2023. Speaking at the conferences ecosystem experts pointed out that marketing conversations need not be overly complex, and in fact, simplicity could often be its greatest strength. It was highlighted that email marketing stood as a prime example of this simplicity-principle, serving as a masterful tool in the arsenal of a big brand's successful marketing strategy. By delivering targeted messages directly to an engaged audience's inbox, email marketing could establish meaningful connections, build brand loyalty, and drive tangible results with remarkable efficiency and effectiveness, the experts said.

Among those who addressed the Mumbai roundtable were Argho Bhattacharya, PayU Payments; Deepak Oram, HDFC Bank; Deepak Srivastava, StarQuik; Farshid Master, DreamSetGo; Pradeep Kumar D Gohil, World Micro Stock Exchange; Priya Nadkarni, Tata Capital; Shonali Shetty, Godrej Capital; Siddhesh Kerkar, Aditya Birla; Srikrishna Moorthy, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Subhash Dawda, RazorPay; Trupti David, Equity Masters; Vinay Bhartia, MessageBird, and Vrinda Aggarwal, Joint Ventures.

Among the key speakers at the Bengaluru conference were Aditya Gupta, Rupeek; Devashish Gupta, Jodo; Hitarth Saini, FREO; Ishan Bose, KreditBee; Rajesh Durai, UpGrad; Sankarsh, Infosys; Shiv Kumar Pandey, Alp Consulting; Sooraj Balakrishnan, Acer; Senthamil Selvan, Altroz Consulting; Titus Thomas, WebEngage; Vargab Bakshi, Wix; Vaibhav Mehrotra, Cashfree Payments, and Vinay Bhartia, MessageBird.

Participants at the Mumbai Roundtable on 'Email Alchemy: Transforming Deliverability into Gold'

Participants at the Bengaluru Roundtable on 'Email Alchemy: Transforming Deliverability into Gold'