The landmark move of demonetisation, made on the eve of 8th November, 2016 by the government of India was aimed at catalysing the nation’s digital payments, along with curbing corruption and black money in the country.
More than two months since demonetisation, India is witnessing an emerging era of digital economy. The cash crunch in the market has led to a boost in digital payments.
Post demonetisation, RuPay card transactions have noticed a phenomenal rise from 6.22 million to 18.16 million in volume and the value of these transactions has spiked from 11.97 million to 30.06 million in November. That’s not it, in December the usage of RuPay transactions touched 47.27 million in volume and 70.05 million in value.
Digital payments have increased by many folds, and thus there arises the need for educating people about the best practices of digital payments.
Even today, there remains strong apprehensions about digital mode of payments. The trust towards cash is deeply embedded in our everyday functionality. Concerns about security, efficiency, and costs of digital payments are seen as hurdles, and prevents people from making payments online. Surmounting digital illiteracy and lack of trust in digital payments is crucial in creating a cashless society.
In order to encourage cashless transactions and to protect the interest of people using digital modes of payment the Indian government has announced multiple schemes that will spur the movement of digital payments in the country. Some of the many initiatives are as follows:
The digital literacy and awareness in the rural areas is extremely low. To educate millions of citizens about digital payments, Union IT Minister, Ravishankar Prasad has recently launched a 24-hour TV channel named ‘DigiShala’.
According to Mr. Ravishankar Prasad, the channel will encourage people for digital payments in their everyday life. The channel will be broadcasting shows targeted at the rural and suburban masses, educating them about various methods of digital payment.
The government is taking a lot of efforts towards creating a cashless society. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has launched an Aadhaar based mobile payment application, BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) at the Digi Dhan Mela event. It is a very simple application and your fingerprint is enough. You won't need internet or a smartphone for this, said Mr. Modi.
A dedicated helpline, ‘14444’, has been launched by NITI Aayog in collaboration with Nasscom, telecom operators, for addressing all queries regarding digital payments. Apart from this, cheaper sub-urban railway passes, lesser toll charges for cashless mode, more PoS terminals, no additional charges for cashless payments, and cheaper petrol for cashless mode payments.
To get the best from the available benefits, it is necessary to be well-educated about digital payments.
“Making digital payments not only saves time but also saves money. Apart from this, digital payments are going to largely impact the country’s economy,” said Mr. Ashok Singhal, a financial consultant.
The Finance Minister of India, Mr. Arun Jaitley, is hopeful that demonetisation will help in increasing government revenue and lower fiscal deficit, leading to a higher allocation of resources towards defence and rural infrastructure. The government is aiming at bringing down the fiscal deficit to 3.99% of GDP this fiscal. Digital education and the incentives offered will influence the citizens to get onto digital payment platforms. As more and more people adopt digital methods of payment, there will be higher accountability and taxation, thereby boosting economic growth and creating a transparent economy.
Adopting digital payments is indeed a strong step for building a stronger economy as there will be enhanced transparency in the economy and tax procuring. To know more about the modes of digital payments, click: http://www.npci.org.in/