A cashless India: To go or not to go mobile?

November 9, 2016, early hours of the night, brought in a storm of emotions for not only the people in India but also those who are somewhere linked with the economy. Taking a historic decision, the prime minister, Narendra Modi called off INR 1000 and 500 notes.

While on one side the declaration raised expectations linked with the check and recover black money, on the other hand, we had worried faces. The reasons were different; either about the 1000 and 500 bundles kept ‘safely in safe’ or about the coming two days that called for closed banks and ATMs.

The news spread like fire in a jungle, and instantly people were seen flooding the roads, petrol pumps and yes the ATMs. While few were trying to get rid of the 500 and 1000 notes in their pocket, there were a good number of people standing in a queue to deposit the same amount back in their bank account, or to withdraw lower denomination.

During this chaos, a thought came, ‘Cashless India’.

The term might be new for some but it didn’t step out of the blues. It has been quite some time that it entered. Digging the sand of time we’ll find the introduction of UPI recently introduced by NPCI. The unique payment solution enables the users to initiate the clearance through a mobile application whenever you want by being wherever you are.

Let us take the recent example again.

The major reason behind the entire hustle was the physical currency. Neither the government probably have banned the currency notes nor would have the people faced this entire trouble if cashless economy sustained in its true colors.

What is a cashless economy?

As the name goes; a cashless economy is where money doesn’t exist in its physical form. In such economy, all the transactions are executed through electronic fund transfers, debit and credit cards, or by using online shopping.

Let us have a look at the pros and cons/difficulties in making a cashless India before we get to any conclusion:

The Pros of going cashless in India

Security: With a cashless society, major benefit the Nation will reap is the security of transactions. The digital wallets present in mobile applications or other online portals can be shut down remotely in case you notice anything wrong. You, in fact, can have better ways to secure your money and keep a check on the places you’ve utilized it.

Convenience: Try to recall the last time you rushed to an ATM. The majority of shops today, including the one calling either for huge payments or wish to provide ease to customers, have the digital card swipe facility.

Due to this convenience, even people prefer paying directly through cards, and visit places that offer the same. Going completely cashless will conquer any hindrance between the one providing these services today and the one not. You won’t have to worry about the cash in pocket and you can easily shop, travel, eat, and enjoy.

Theft/another form of loss: Let us accept the fact; the paper currency has more chances of being stolen, tearing or stolen. Such losses have been noticed often. However, with a cashless economy, there won’t be any fear of such losses.

As far as your card is concerned, you have the rights in your hand to block it as soon as you notice or feel any suspicious activity, log in and change your password or you may inform your bank.

Check over Black money: With the cashless economy implemented, India will overcome its major issue; BlackMoney. If the money won’t have any physical form and the transactions will digitalize, this issue can be eradicated wholly. This eventually will give rise to a more prosperous nation.

Cons of a cashless economy

Getting hacked: With everything in some way or other relying on technology, you might have had the fear of getting hacked. If you can remember the latest event where a researcher from Zvelo Labs exposed glitches of Google Wallet, which resulted in its shutdown; yes, the same project for which Google made huge promises. This is just one; there are a good number of incidents for same.

Poverty: India still has people having nominal income and expenses and they aren’t able to afford the basic expenses (smartphone, bank account etc.) that follow.

Implementing this will create a burden on them, making them feel vulnerable, outlined, and ditched. Being the largest democracy, we can’t compromise here just for the sake of above proses.

Illiteracy: India has around 287 million illiterate adults and around 60 lakh children out of schools. If this shocks you, stay prepared as figures say that the Country’s illiteracy rate jumped to 74% today, in comparison to 12% during British Time (though population raised, but you can’t disregard the facts).

Educating these people about the cashless economy and making them used to it will be a very difficult task. So, before we plan to go cashless, we need to make sure that we take a step to solve these problems.

The much needed synchronization

The need of time is to have people molding themselves according to the call of the era. Technological advancements have always created a chaos in beginning but with time made an impeccable space in society. At this stage to remove the flaws of past, we need to create mobility solutions that help people learn and adopt the benefits.

Though there are many startups working for same, but still we need to travel few more miles with people who believe in creating the change, rather than simply following it.

Conclusion

Like everything, the even cashless economy has both pros and cons, but the latter can be overcome if things are formulated better. Looking at the changing era, speculations are that soon things will be more mobile.

So how far have you reached? Ensure today that you join this marathon and be a pathmaker by providing mobility solutions for a cashless economy, rather than simply being a follower.

Originally published at Peerbits