The India ACCEPT Program

Developing, Testing & Implementing Digital Financial Services Strategies to Accelerate Access for the Emerging Middle Class 

There are multiple initiatives currently in the Indian market designed to strengthen and expand the digital financial services (DFS) sector and stimulate financial inclusion. These initiatives are developing different but complimentary focus areas, ranging from infrastructure, connectivity, and systems architecture to operating models, product and service development, as well as user awareness and education (i.e. consumers, merchants, other institutional users).

NetHope’s recently completed market research in India reveals that the DFS sector is rapidly evolving. In markets outside Tier 1 urban centers, there is a need for experimentation and new concept development to serve the emerging middle class (EMC) in Tier 2-4 centers with DFS products they will use and value. To promote and accelerate the reach of DFS into these markets, NetHope has joined forces with Visa to announce the India “Accelerator for Consumer Capacity in Electronic Payment Transactions” (ACCEPT) program.

Through this program, NetHope seeks to work with DFS providers to commit the additional resources and technical support necessary to create, jump start, or accelerate the commercial delivery of DFS offerings to market segments that would not otherwise receive the same attention but still represent a credible market opportunity. In particular, NetHope will emphasize collaboration with DFS providers on projects that seek to develop networks of active merchant acceptance points.

By “active,” the India ACCEPT program means merchant acceptance points that support all aspects of the transaction process, including the user experience (for both merchant and consumer), to encourage sustained DFS transaction activity. This requires a holistic approach including implementation of:

  • Functioning hardware and software solutions 

  • Adequate training on technical, operational, and customers service elements 

  • Effective institutional management & support (e.g. signage, marketing collateral)

The following are some of the possible ways that NetHope will work with DFS providers to expand into these geographies and serve these customer segments, collaborating around three broad work streams: strategic, technical and operational. 


NetHope’s research provides insights on the evolving financial behaviors and attitudes towards DFS of the EMC customers and merchants in Tier 2-4 centers. The data collected provides a better understanding of the specific market segments, identities challenges to DFS adoption and suggests strategies for DFS providers to capture the potential business opportunities.

Through the India ACCEPT program, NetHope will work with DFS providers to launch or accelerate implementation of projects that align with their commercial strategies and priorities and are targeted towards activating DFS acceptance points through deployment and use by micro, small, and medium merchants in Tier 2-4 centers. This may include:

MARKET RESEARCH: Leveraging our existing research on customers and merchants in Tier 2-4 centers and developing market insights.

USE CASE IDENTIFICATION: Using insights from research to identify unmet needs, which might translate into successful use cases presenting potential opportunities for the provider.

DISTRIBUTION MODEL: Formulating and testing new distribution and channel strategies for specific customer segments and geographies.

PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Connecting with others in the development and provider sector to form strategic partnerships across the DFS value chain.

MARKETING/PROMOTION: Using these implementation projects to showcase new products, services and ideas to multiple stakeholders. 



Through the India ACCEPT program, you can connect with technical expertise spanning across products, processes and technologies for designing targeted operating models and the successful implementation of identified strategies for DFS. This can include:

PRODUCT/SERVICE USE CASE DESIGN: Members of India ACCEPT will gain access to detailed learnings regarding customer and merchant capabilities, aspirations and needs in Tier 2-4 centers. These details will help you in making an informed decision about products or service offerings you need to develop to profitably cater to these segments.

PILOT LAUNCH/TESTING: Through India ACCEPT, DFS providers will be able to launch new ideas or approaches and work towards a broader commercial roll-out strategy. This will include end-to-end project design, covering processes, labor requirements and technical specifications. 



By working with different stakeholders, NetHope aims to create an environment conducive to successful implementation of projects. Members of the ACCEPT program can work with the program in two main operational areas:

MARKET AWARENESS/EDUCATION/MESSAGING: Develop educational content, messages and trainings to better suit the needs and aptitude of customers and merchants in Tier 2-4 centers. NetHope can connect you with players who have experience in developing content and providing on the ground training to merchants and customers for targeted and effective communication.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT: NetHope can help connect you with experts who can provide assistance in project management, monitoring and performance evaluation. 

Our thanks to Visa for supporting this initiative.

For questions or clarifications, email Isha Singh, NetHope’s India Program Manager.

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