All said and done the Government has fallen short of its ambitious target of 25 billion digital transactions for this financial year, but it cannot be denied that the efforts to increase the Digital Transactions has not gone waste. What does the Statistics reveal?
- The total digital transactions undertaken across India from April 1 to January 28, was 14.8 billion, according to the data from the ministry of electronics and IT, which is inclusive of bank-to-bank electronic money transfers, digital wallet payments, Aadhaar-based and electronic toll payments.
- A 25-billion target in the Union Budget for 2017-18 a year ago as part of the government’s hard push to digitize India’s economy was announced. A few bankers and payments industry executives felt, the goal was too pushy that it provided the digitisation efforts a huge boost. However, some felt that there should be more drastic measures in its implementation.
- Another view is that dis-incentivising cash transactions should be announced on priority. Only major interferences could change the consumer behaviour.
- Though the RBI move in promoting Unified Payments Interface, Digital Wallets (or prepaid payments instruments) and Credit and Debit Cards, has had its influence in the Urban and Semi Urban areas, even today cash is the most preferred payment system at all levels.
- What Industry experts feels on this is inadequate infrastructure, in implementing the payment systems effectively, more so in Villages and Small towns, inspite of the Card Payment Terminals having been doubled during one year period. The statistics reveals an increase in Cash Circulation to Rs. 16.3 lakh crore in January this year from around Rs. 13.2 lakh crore in April last year. Thus, it is clear that cash payments are the most preferred mode.
- Under Digital payments mode, UPI has shown the fastest increase during the financial year. The statistics shows that the 7 million transfers in April last year has gone upto 145.4 million in December last year. Here is the detail:
- A Government resource adds that efforts are being made, to improve the payments acceptance infrastructure, by deploying UPI like technologies, Bharat QR and Aadhaar Based Paymnents.
- Departments are already on the move in increasing the digital payment systems, wherever there is a contact with the public.
- Also QR codes are being developed in order to cover more points.
- More Aadhaar Pay and BHIM machines are being deployed by banks, through NABARD subsidy, at various centres.
- Government had set a target for banks for deploying 2 million Aadhaar payment terminals by September last year.
- Though there was an adequate increase in the Aadhaar enable payments, from 16.3 million to 6 million transactions in the year 2017, the growth is considered to be far below expectations.
- Here the main challenges faced are Effective communication Knowledge Transmission in Rural Areas.