The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is in the process of constructing a digital payment index to assess the extent of digitisation in the country and innovation in existing modes and channels to bridge digital divide, a senior official of the apex bank said on Wednesday.

Observing that digital payments in India have been growing rapidly, RBI Executive Director T Rabi Sankar said there is still a lot of catching up to do as per-capita penetration is still quite low.

"RBI is in the process of…constructing and periodically publishing a composite digital payment index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitisation. The DPI could be the key to accurately measure the deepening and penetration of digital payments across the country," he said while addressing a webinar organised by the US-India Business Council.

A comprehensive index has also been recommended by a high-level committee headed by Nandan Nilekani on deepening digital payment in India.

Earlier in February, the RBI said the DPI would be based on multiple parameters and shall reflect the penetration and deepening of various digital payment modes. Sankar said financial inclusion is well recognised as a key driver of economic growth.

Access to formal finance cannot only boost jobs and economic resilience, it could also lead to reduction in poverty and economic inequality when still 50 per cent of the total population in the emerging economies in financially excluded. Given the size at hand, he said digital technologies offer most-effective channel to deliver finance to these underserved population.