The Future of the Digital Payments Rail

Nitya Sharma, founder and CEO of Simpl Inc., joins Real Vision CEO and co-founder Raoul Pal to share the opportunities in India’s rapidly expanding electronic payments system and what they indicate about the future of the digital value layer worldwide. Sharma and Pal note that, due to key projects within India such as banknote demonetization, India Stack, and the United Payments Interface (UPI), India is a petri dish for the creation of a new, paperless, monetary network. Sharma describes how Simpl allows its users to build a virtual tab with vendors and allow them to purchase items and settle the payment at a later date. He sees this as a return to a more natural form of conducting business via trust and informal credit, known in India as “khata.” Sharma argues that Simpl builds a network of digital “khata” that allows customers and merchants to build trusted relationships with each other. Filmed on May 12, 2021.

Key learnings: Sharma argues that credit cards have barely changed since the 1950s and that the future of payments innovation will not involve a card at all. Pal and Sharma see the furious rise of India’s digital payments system as a signal for what is to come for the rest of the world.


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