Mastercard's Digital Evolution Index terms Indian digital economy as 'potentially strong'

India has emerged as a potentially strong digital economy, categorised under the "Break Out" segment among 60 countries in an index by Mastercard.

India has emerged as a potentially strong digital economy and been categorised under the "Break Out" segment among 60 countries in an index launched on Thursday.

The Digital Evolution Index 2017 was launched jointly by the Fletcher School at Tufts University in the US and Mastercard. "The Break Out segment refers to countries that have relatively lower absolute levels of digital advancement, yet remain poised for growth and are attractive to investors by virtue of their potential," Mastercard said in a release here.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The American financial services major said The Digital Evolution Index is a comprehensive research that tracks the progress countries have made in developing their digital economies and integrating connectivity into the lives of billions.

"New to the 2017 report, the research team at The Fletcher School analysed 42 of the 60 countries in the Index around four key dimensions — behaviour, attitudes, environment and experience — to understand the state of digital trust."

The list of Break Out countries, apart from India, includes China, Kenya, Russia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico.

"India has been experiencing rapid strides of progress with an evolving payments landscape, catalysed by the government's demonetisation decision. The government's endeavour to boost the acceptance infrastructure coupled with a host of other economic reforms have further hastened the momentum for India's journey towards a cashless society," the Mastercard statement said.

"Adoption of digital payments has also witnessed a massive growth with a shift in behaviour change as more people adopt digital payments in daily life," it said.

Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the US make up the top ten list of advanced digital economies.

"Stand Out" countries such as Singapore, UK, New Zealand, UAE, Estonia, Hong Kong, Japan and Israel demonstrate high levels of digital development while continuing to lead in innovation and new growth, the report said.

Instead, "Stall Out" countries — denoting many developed countries as in Western Europe, the Nordics, Australia and South Korea — have "a history of strong growth, but their momentum is slowing".

"Without further innovation, they are at risk of falling behind," the report warned. "It is heartening to see India's strong market potential being recognised. With new players foraying into the market and an entire gamut of solutions for alternate payments, the India payment ecosystem is growing by each day," Mastercard Country Corporate Officer (India) Porush Singh said in the statement.

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