Chinese banks 'far less digital' than Indian lenders, says K V Kamath

The challenge and the opportunity for the existing fintech financial services players will be to use fintech that is emerging or is already there to their advantage, he said, adding that they will face challenges if they are unable to do so.
 Chinese banks 'far less digital' than Indian lenders, says K V Kamath

Chinese banks are "far less digital" than Indian lenders now even though they had embarked on the digital journey very early, veteran banker K V Kamath said on Thursday.

"I think (there are) lots of differences between what has happened there (China) and what has happened here," Kamath, the Chairman of the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID), said on the concluding day of the three-day Global Fintech Summit here.

"Yes, they (China) went into (digital) payments very early with Alipay and WeChat Pay. But the rest of it is very interesting.

"If I were to actually look at it, a Chinese bank is far less digital than an Indian bank now. There are technology enablers who lived there 4-5 years ago and were probably at a better or higher level than those in India," Kamath said.

He was also the President of the Shanghai-based multilateral lender New Development Bank, which was set up by the governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"I can say this without any hesitation that virtually there is no area where we are behind today. And that is to me the biggest driving force for us," he said.

Kamath expressed hope that digital economy will contribute 25-30 per cent in the USD 25-trillion economy that the country is aiming for.

The challenge and the opportunity for the existing fintech financial services players will be to use fintech that is emerging or is already there to their advantage, he said, adding that they will face challenges if they are unable to do so.

"If you look at the existing players in the broking business, who have been there for 20-30 years, they are under enormous threat from newer players who are virtually digital… So, it's the start of a process of change which I think will slowly prevail," he said.

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