SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday launched the APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a banking technology platform designed to reach nearly two billion people worldwide who are still without bank accounts.

Prime Minister Modi launched the technology platform with Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore T Shanmugaratnam after he became the first leader to address the prestigious Fintech Festival here.

“PM Narendra Modi launching APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a global fintech platform with Deputy PM of Singapore T Shanmugaratnam. APIX will eventually connect our companies to financial institutions globally,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.

APIX is a banking technology platformdesigned to reach two billion people worldwide who are still without bank accounts.

Designed by software experts based in Hyderabad, Colombo and London, APIX is a sophisticated technology developed by Boston-headquartered Virtusa, especially for smaller banks, Tier 3 and 4, to reach out to people in the remote regions.

The APIX will support banks to reach out to those without bank accounts in 23 countries including the 10 ASEAN members as well as major markets such as India, and small nations including Fiji, said Nikhil Menon, Virtusa’s senior vice president and Asia regional head.

“We must bring the unbanked 1.7 billion people in the world into the formal financial market. We must extend the security of insurance and pension to more than a billion workers in the informal sectors worldwide, who still do not have it,” Prime Minister Modi said in his speech.

“We can use fintech to ensure that no dream remains unfulfilled, and no enterprise remains still born, because of lack of access to finance. We must make banks and financial institutions more resilient in managing risks,fighting frauds and dealing with disruption of traditional models,” he said.

Modi also visited the India Pavilion of 18 companies at the festival as he began his two-day visit to Singapore.

Eight of these companies are from Mumbai. The Pavilion is organised by the state-owned Maharashtra Information Technology Corp Ltd (MahaIT).

Fintech Festival, which is in its third year, drew as many as 30,000 participants from over 100 countries in 2017.

The event involves a three-day conference, and exhibition of Fintech firms and capabilities, a global competition of Fintech solutions and a platform for matching entrepreneurs and investment capital. PTI