Until a few months ago, exchanging cash notes to make a purchase from another person or business was not considered life-threatening. Today, it is a new reality. Being hemmed inside their homes has forced individuals across the globe to revisit their modes of transaction. The past few months witnessed an exponential increase in the amount of time being spent by people on social media, with a large section of individuals moving to online commerce to make purchases.
As per a recent study1 by UNCTAD, approximately 64% of e-commerce players reported an increase in transactions via a digital mode of payment over the last few months. This has given rise to companies such as Bharat Pay Merchant, who have launched mobile POS solutions that allow the use of debit and credit cards at merchant locations without any financial institutions acting as intermediaries.
With the increasing number of online transactions using debit/credit cards and the increased adoption rate of mobile POS solutions, many are left to ponder if these solutions are safe for regular retail transactions. While there are no industry-wide standards for digital payments, industry experts believe that BharatPay Merchant is one such solution that provides sufficient protection against frauds. The company uses multiple layers of security ranging from encryption technology for transmission of financial data to various measures for customer
From bank notes to smartphones
In a professional tone: The problem that India faced was unique and the government was forced to take steps that it wouldn’t have taken otherwise. For example, the government had to put restrictions on the movement of people. But this also meant that people had to do business in an entirely new way—they had to find new ways of accepting payments, which cut down their transaction costs by a considerable margin. This disruption in economic activities caused by the national lockdown led to a drop in business revenues by as much as 25%. Online payments, which were once considered as just another convenient payment option, have now emerged as preferred modes of payment. This is because they come with several benefits such as instant settlement and reduced transaction costs. The Government has been encouraging digital payment gateway through several measures like demonetization, discounts for using digital modes of payment, and other initiatives. All of this has helped the adoption of digital modes of payment such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface), RuPay cards, FASTags (for toll collection), all-in-one quick response (QR) code, etc., not only by consumers but also merchants across the country.
Digital payments are our future
Digital payments saw a huge uptake post demonetization in November 2016 and has been on an upward path ever since. As per IS BEF2 in 2019, India had a more evolved digital ecosystem than several developed countries in the world. With a higher dependency on online platforms amongst Indians, 2020 witnessed a rapid increase in adoption of digital payments. As per a recent report by Accenture3, in India, 66.6 billion transactions worth US$ 270.7 billion are expected to shift from cash to cards and digital payments by 2023 – and further increase to US$ 856.6 billion by 2030.
Innovation and infrastructure are two key enablers for any digital ecosystem, which is why India still has a long way to go when it comes to digital infrastructure. The world data speed monitoring platform recently ranked India.