CashlessConsumer — Why?

Originally posted by Srikanth @logic on 10 Dec 2016.

#CashlessConsumer is a consumer awareness initiative to drive awareness, educate consumers about digital / cashless payment systems, voice consumer concerns, share security best practices, make consumers a stakeholder in the design of payment systems, seek better consumer rights in cashless systems.


Calling for volunteers for #CashlessConsumer. Lets build awareness , free / open source tech for ourselves. Lets research on cashless objectively form the lens of consumer. Lets call the upsides and downsides of cashless from our lens. Demand / ensure Cashless to be consumer friendly

Awareness :

Post demonetization, there is a need for people to use cashless (willingly / unwillingly) to carry on with lives. It is indeed sad to see people losing lives, jobs due to lack of cash. Some of us are privileged to use cashless means can help others in increasing awareness on cashless at least for their survival needs, while giving them the same benefits (along with negatives) of cashless tech / tools we enjoy. We do realize choice is important and hence #CashlessConsumer does not advocate going into fully cashless world. At the same time, #CashlessConsumer helps in giving that choice to the consumer, with as much information as possible, to let the consumer decide.

Tech :

While the initial days of cashless means cheques, demand drafts, in a digital era, cashless means using internet banking, mobile banking, e-wallets, UPI using an array of instruments like payment cards, smart phones, RFID based payments etc. To a consumer(even some well-educated consumers), a lot of this tech is mystery and opaque systems are not good from consumer perspective. As software developers, we have the privilege to understand, study these systems / standards, simplify them to consumers, ensuring they are safe in terms cybersecurity, follow standards, ensure that technology behind these systems are robust enough for average consumer to trust the technology.

Data :

Cashless is less about money, more about data.Be it a open-data release from RBI on cashless usage, the number (and numbers) of fin-tech companies, variety of numbers projected pro-cashless are all about data. As with any digital system, cashless will collect, generate lot of data. A cashless consumer being at the on side of the chain, this data collection by various entities in various stages impacts Consumer in many different ways . First step is understanding data elements in the systems, data collectors, seek opendata where possible, ensure data protection, seek privacy, security of data.

Policy :

As consumers, one way of getting protection is by regulations. Dispute resolution, privacy, liability on cyber security are some of the policy decisions that need to be made to have a consumer friendly cashless system. Study of existing systems, suggestion due process / regulations help consumers.

Do comment / reach out to me if you would like to volunteer for #CashlessConsumer

Links

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