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In the heart of a bustling metropolis, under the glimmering skyline of a city that never sleeps, the Global Fintech Fest (GFF) 2023 came to life.

Three days, 800 speakers, 50,000 delegates, one stage to bring together the entire fintech world.  

By showcasing the full spectrum of the fintech ecosystem and its potential for sustainable global advancement, GFF has solidified its pivotal role over the past three years.

In its fourth edition this year, the Global Fintech Fest (GFF), a renowned international event, is poised to establish itself as the foremost platform for fintech thought leadership worldwide. As a prominent global conference, GFF annually brings together policymakers, regulators, industry trailblazers, scholars, and influential figures from the fintech sector. This gathering fosters the exchange of ideas, the sharing of insights, and the driving force behind innovation.

Let's explore what GFF 2023 had in store for the fintech world!

Global Fintech Fest, 2023

Salt's co-founder, Ankit Parasher at the Global Fintech Fest 2023

The 4th edition of Global Fintech Fest (GFF) was a three-day event, from September 5 - 7, 2023 at the Jio World Centre in Mumbai, organised in cooperation with NPCI, PCI, and FCC.

The GFF is like a reunion party for the fintech world - fintech leaders come together to foster collaborations and chart the course for the future of the industry. 

It is a leading fintech event of the year with strong support from the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Department of Economic Affairs, RBI, IFSCA, and other global and Indian organisations.

The inaugural session featured Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as chief guest, while the valedictory session featured Minister Piyush Goyal. 

Over 3 days, it featured 13 tracks, 800+ speakers, 15 reports, 81 papers, 50 workshops and engaged over 50,000 delegates from 125+ countries through 250+ sessions, 250 investors, 500+ exhibitors and 3 hackathons. 

What's more? 

The GFF was full of engagement experiences for both global and Indian participants:

1. Thought Leadership Content: Over 15 insightful reports were unveiled through GFF23 partners.

2. Investment Pitches: Various startup pitching rounds catered to early-stage, growth stage, and pre-IPO startups.

3. 30+ Closed Room Sessions: These sessions explored topics like cutting-edge Gen AI and empowering women in fintech, exploring startup innovations.

4. Call for Papers: Recognizing and awarding research work by scholars, academicians, fintech experts, economists, working professionals, and policymakers during the festival.

5. Global Fintech Awards: Celebrating fintech success globally, these awards acknowledged outstanding emerging startups, disruptive technologies, unique business models, and innovative founders and entrepreneurs across diverse categories.

6. Expos: With over 250 exhibitors covering digital banking, payments, blockchain technology, and more, the event also showcased the latest trends and developments in the fintech ecosystem.

The Organisers of the GFF 


The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an organization that manages payment systems in India. It offers products like RuPay cards, IMPS, UPI, BHIM, and more, aiming to make India a digital economy.


2. PCI

The Payments Council of India (PCI) is a non-profit association representing India's digital payment sector. It promotes growth, cooperation, and a secure payment environment, working with stakeholders to shape the digital payment landscape.


3. FCC

The Fintech Convergence Council (FCC) is a council formed in 2018 with over 100 members from various sectors of the financial industry. Its main goal is to address industry challenges and promote the growth of the fintech sector, advocating for public policies and engaging with policymakers and regulators.

GFF’23 Theme

The theme of GFF 2023 focused on the importance of working together to create a financial system that is fair, strong, and environmentally friendly. We want to build a future where everyone can grow and succeed, and where the financial industry can quickly bounce back from unexpected challenges. We believe that by talking, coming up with new ideas, and learning from everyone involved in the financial ecosystem, we can make progress toward this goal. 

The three parts of the theme included: 

  1.  Inclusive
    GFF 2023 aims to make financial services available to everyone, regardless of their location or financial status, through global collaboration.
  2. Resilient 
    GFF 2023 encourages developing innovative solutions that can adapt to changing circumstances and create a financial system that can quickly recover from unexpected events.
  3. Sustainable 
     GFF 2023 promotes making the financial industry environmentally friendly and socially responsible through global cooperation.

The Inaugural Address by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman


Source: Mint

Here's a quick summary of all that was mentioned in the inaugural address by Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman:

1. Fintech's Role: Fintech promotes financial inclusion and surpasses traditional financial activities.

2. Demat Accounts: Demat accounts in India have grown from 4.1 crore to 10 crore, marking a 2.5-fold increase.

3. Mutual Funds and SIPs: Record numbers of mutual funds and SIPs contributed to wealth generation, with increased participation from cities beyond the top 30 in India.

4. RBI's Payments Vision: RBI actively supports global outreach to expand domestic payment systems through collaboration.

5. IT Return Filings: Maharashtra leads in IT return filings, while other states, including the Northeast, Chhattisgarh, and Jammu & Kashmir, experience significant growth.

6. Cross-Border Payments and Remittances: Global cross-border payments amount to $20 trillion, with India receiving approximately $100 billion in remittances in 2022.

7. Report Release and Fintech Exhibition: A report titled 'The Second Wave: Resilient, Inclusive, Exponential Fintechs' was also released during the event.

What Else Happened at GFF '23?

The Global Fintech Fest also witnessed some interesting announcements, including

1. Organisers of the Global Fintech Festival (GFF) announced their goal of facilitating funding exceeding $10 million specifically for startups at the upcoming event in the financial capital. This funding target is focused on startups and does not include growth-stage companies, which will engage in discussions with investors. 

2. Hitachi Payment Services and NPCI introduced India's first UPI-ATM, "Hitachi Money Spot UPI ATM," enabling cardless cash withdrawals through QR-based UPI payments for Android and iOS users, eliminating the need for physical cards.

3. UIDAI showcased AI-powered facial authentication technology for Aadhaar, partnering with Airtel Payments Bank to enhance resident authentication. They highlighted Aadhaar's applications in MGNREGA attendance and streamlined banking customer onboarding. UIDAI's "Reimagine Aadhaar #together" theme focused on seamless identity services through innovation, including plans for a Sandbox and Innovation Lab in Bangalore to foster research and collaboration within the ecosystem.

4. SBI introduced the RuPay NCMC Prepaid Card, called the 'Nation First Transit Card,' for easy digital fare payments and retail transactions. They've also worked on CMC programs with transit operators and are implementing NCMC ticketing for Mumbai Metro Line 3 and Agra Metro.

5. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das unveiled five NPCI-developed payment innovations. These solutions enhance offline payments, promote inclusivity, and boost sustainability in India's digital payments. They encompass a UPI Credit Line, UPI Lite X for offline NFC transfers, QR and NFC tech for payments, multi-language voice-enabled UPI payments, and BiPay Connect for conversational bill payments via voice and collection centres. 


The Global Fintech Fest 2023 was an extraordinary event that showcased the power and potential of the fintech industry on a global scale. With 800 speakers, 50,000 delegates, and a wide range of engaging sessions and activities, it truly lived up to its reputation as a leading international fintech gathering.

As we wrap up this overview of GFF 2023, it is essential to emphasise the importance of collaboration, innovation, and sustainability in the fintech world. The theme of the event, focusing on inclusivity, resilience, and sustainability, reminds us of the industry's responsibility to create a financial ecosystem that benefits everyone and can withstand unexpected challenges.

With Salt, we aim to contribute to the growing fintech ecosystem by making international payments and compliances as easy as ordering a pizza: hassle-free and quick!