ACI Worldwide has announced that it has completed an installation upgrade with India1 Payments Limited to accelerate and increase last-mile delivery of payments and financial services to India’s financially excluded.

The implementation has enhanced India1 Payments current 11,000 ATMs with ACI’s latest technology, which has created capacity for expanding the ATM network in the coming years. The primary focus for the payments giants is to ensure that semi-urban and rural (SURU) markets benefit from India’s rapid digitalisation and real-time payments explosion.

In rural India, the biggest challenge for many consumers and households is physical access to the formal financial sector. Access to financial institutions is often limited or non-existent: branches are scarce and internet connectivity is intermittent and unreliable.

ATMs help overcome this and are seen as providing the first step to formal access to basic financial services. They are a critical first step in driving financial inclusion by allowing customers to set up bank accounts and access a wide range of financial services, without the need to ever visit a bank branch or go online.

ATMs also promote financial literacy while recirculating cash quickly, cheaply, reliably, and safely – facilitating access to financial services by the unbanked and under-banked.

A recent report by ACI highlighted India’s dominance in real-time payments, and more importantly, the significant economic impact real-time payments provide. The report ‘Prime-Time for Real Time 2022’, published in partnership with GlobalData and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, showed the economic boost for India.

By facilitating the transfer of money between businesses and consumers within seconds rather than days, real-time payments can improve overall market efficiencies in the economy: real-time payments improve liquidity in the financial system and therefore act as a catalyst for economic growth. This is especially important for our fast-paced and digital-led economies.

Commenting on the development, Ankur Saxena, country leader, South Asia, ACI Worldwide, “Our aim is for ACI technology combined with India1’s widespread presence to ensure no Indian is left behind as the country continues its digitalisation and real-time payments journey. This implementation provides the ideal opportunity and platform to make this a reality and fulfil a key pledge of our mission here in India.”

Meanwhile, Rajeev Desai, chief operating officer, India1 Payments Limited, said, “This enhancement will create capacity to further expand our footprint across the country, add new features to our platform – opening the prospect of superior functionality and choice for many across the country. Accessing the formal financial sector is fast becoming a basic right for all of us in India, and together, ACI and India1 want to ensure that right is available to as many citizens as possible.”