Thanks to the safety and precautions adopted by consumers, in the time of the pandemic, e-payments and cash less transactions have shown a huge surge.
The pandemic in India has brought about a shift - in many cases permanent - in daily human habits and consumer behaviour in the commercial marketplace. The signs are that some of the smart practices adopted will be irreversible thanks to an emphasis on social distancing and an overhaul on lifestyle changes where safety and security are the buzzwords.
In the market the bricks and mortar shopping models have given way to a surge in e-commerce and with that the process of e-payments and cash less transactions have also showed a huge spike.
Tech and digital are the way to go as the focus here is based on minimum contact and as more and more consumers come to adopt this behavioural choice the reliance on all things digital increases. This, in turn, is enabled further by the drive on innovation and regulatory flexibility as the authorities enable the public.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the determined efforts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to move to a non/less-cash economy by pushing digital payments have begun to pay rich dividends as the volume of such payments has jumped manifold in the past five years, the latest data from the central bank showed.
India is embracing the digital wallet thanks to a burgeoning middle class and a rural sector which has illustrated its access to affordable mobile technology. According to data released by the RBI the numbers look hefty from a five-year growth perspective, with an annual growth rate of 55.1 per cent in terms of transaction volumes and 15.2 per cent in terms of value.
Credit should go to the country's premier bank as they have played a defining role of an operator, catalyst, facilitator, regulator and supervisor, as the occasion demanded towards achieving its public policy objective of developing and promoting a safe, secure, sound and efficient payment systems.
As a result of the RBI's behind the scenes direction consumer habits have also changed in terms of percentage of card usage - from 20 per cent in FY16 to 45 per cent in FY20, with debit card turnover outpacing credit card values.
With a long, local and cash-only history, companies are now selling their products and services online, marketing to shoppers beyond their limited areas and competing with others in an e-commerce economy which is expanding exponentially.
It is not just the consumer who is finding life to be more convenient. With a long, local and cash-only history, companies are now selling their products and services online, marketing to shoppers beyond their limited areas and competing with others in an e-commerce economy which is expanding exponentially.
Cross-border and digital payments also make accessibility of products outside India seamless and friction-free. The efforts of the current government, when it launched the Digital India Movement in 2015, by refining online infrastructure and internet connectivity, are now in full view. In 2017, the administration introduced economic demonitisation and a virtual 'cash ban' of high denomination currency notes, followed by an effort to kick-start digital payments through various innovations (smartphones and improved telecom infrastructure). Which is why India has made a quantum leap into the modern digital environment without actually relying on legacy e-commerce models.