Will India Ever Become a Cashless Economy?

An unfortunate customer visited a MORE store that belongs to Aditya Birla group in December last year and made a purchase for Rs.107. When his debit card was swiped, the power went off in the store and the lady at sales insisted to re-swiping the card. The customer had already received a message on his mobile that the amount was deducted.

But the store saleswoman and the store manager told the customer that the card will have to be swiped again and the extra amount, if taken, would be deposited back in his account automatically by the system. It is exactly one month and despite the customer visiting the store twice and giving all the details, the amount never showed up in the customer’s bank account.

This is just one instance where debit cards and credit cards are still not reliable despite the government’s brouhaha over going cashless in a country that cannot provide power throughout the day and night to its commercial users, leave alone homes and villages. Now the BJP-led NDA government is upbeat that the economy would soon turn into a cashless economy. But without power, will they protect the hapless customers from the fraud sales points and stores across the country?

“If this instance is from one city, imagine how it would affect villagers, senior citizens and the poor people who cannot understand the nuances of banking services and the online fraud associated with it,” said the hapless customer.

The problem with the BJP government is that they do not want to take responsibility to provide the basic infrastructure before redeeming their dreams of cashless and electronic economy.

Finally, who will benefit more from the cashless economy? The world over, only two credit card companies — Mastercard and Visa — serve more than 96% of the cards used in any country, whether cash-based or cashless economy.

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