Digital India 2018: How A Billion People Ditched Cash & Went Online!

Everything has a virtual presence these days. From online shopping to summoning strangers to drive you around. Everything can be done on the internet. And who doesn’t want that? One might argue that there are various reasons for people to hop on the train to digital land. But there’s no denying that it’s not just a luxury that the elites go to, even the street vendors and kirana shop owners have the option to accept payments via PayTM!

The current population of India is 1,281,935,911 with 51 births and 19 deaths occurring each minute. Can you take a wild guess as to what part of this population is online?
460 million internet users, making it the second largest online market after China.

Did you know that the digital transaction in India crossed the 1 billion mark in December 2017?

So, what exactly caused this offline to online transition?

On the fateful Tuesday night of 8th November of 2016 where lives in India changed forever. Yes, it’s that day when around 8 PM, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced the spearheading news of banning Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 notes. A decision that forever changed the path of Indian economy.

Everyone remembers standing in those never-ending- rage-inducing ques, if not chances are you’ve had a family member or a friend whine about it non-stop. The November-December 2016 period was truly a nightmare for everyone who dealt with money. And who doesn’t deal with money?

The economy of India and mainly the transactions with liquid cash came to a halt forcing people to get on the digital space. Where everything is done digitally albeit everything is accounted for, leaving little to no scope for under the table transactions. This move was mainly to eradicate the black money situation in India and also to get people to do their taxes and not neglect it. It also opened doors for digital payments, digital transactions and a digital life altogether.

Ever since the demonetization, e-Payment and e-Commerce brands such as PayTM, Tez, PhonePe got an opportunity to build their brand and let’s agree on this, life has never been the same again! Digital transactions in India are at an all time high, thanks to the digital wallets. Now, we are able to manage our finances in a much better way.

Do the digital wallets have the monopoly over the online transactions?

No, my friend. Even though before and even after the demonetization, e-wallets have been ruling the digital sphere and they’ll continue to do their job of making our lives easier, UPI( Unified Payment Interface) is here to turn tables around and heads too while at it and UPI is here to augment our lives with as little hassle as possible.

What is Unified Payment Interface?

What is this alien term we keep hearing? Unified Payment Interface(UPI) lets you send and receive money effortlessly through a Virtual Payment Address(VPA) without having to break your head over adding additional bank information.

What is Virtual Payment Address?
To use UPI, you need to create a Virtual Payment Address(VPA) and link it to your bank account, if you happen to have multiple bank accounts, choose the one you mostly use for your online transactions. What VPA does is, it acts like a financial address. Which means you don’t have to enter the beneficiary details, the IFSC code or even have to remember your net banking password for these transactions.

UPI is both peer to merchant and peer to peer. It’s groundbreaking on so many levels. It’s backed by National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI) and regulated by Reserve Bank of India(RBI). It facilitates instant fund transfer without having to wait for so and so business days or whining about the RBI cut off time for the day to make the fund transfers.

What’s the best app for UPI?

President Narendra Modi launched the BHIM app which is said to be the best app for UPI. However of late as long as you have UPI setup, with WhatsApp’s latest update you can directly send and receive money as long as both the parties have UPI activated and synced with your WhatsApp.

At any given hour, there are 7,078 BHIM transactions completed. 169,863 a day. 5 million a month, and a 480 million a year.

Which one is a better option? Mobile wallets or UPI?

Mobile wallets vs UPI( Round 1)

The source of money
To make a transaction in the mobile wallet requires you to transfer money from your bank account to your digital wallet prior or during the transaction whereas in the case of UPI the money remains in your bank account and the transactions take place directly without any third party involvement.

Mobile wallets vs UPI( Round 2)

Sending and Receiving money
As long as you have your UPI activated, it doesn’t matter what bank account holder you are, sending and receiving money is hassle free but in the case of mobile wallets, it’s essential that both the sending and the receiving party by the user of the same mobile wallet to make the transaction happen.

Mobile wallets vs UPI( Round 3)

Transaction limit
Many mobile wallets have a transaction limit(if you haven’t completed your KYC) is usually around 20k a month whereas the UPI transaction limit is 1 lakh presently.

We want hassle free ways of carrying out transactions.But the mobile wallets have their own pros and cons and one of the biggest cons being linking your bank account to your wallet and always having to transfer your money if you haven’t done it and filled your wallet. Even if you transfer money in your wallet it has its limit which can’t be crossed unless you do the KYC for it.

If we talk about cashback offers that these wallets offer, they can only be encashed within the app only and that too with a time limit. No offer valid till the stocks last here.

So who, according to you, is the winner here?

Browsing online shopping portals is the new window shopping!

Online shopping has revolutionized shopping on a whole different level altogether. Did you know 74 % of smartphone users use their mobile phone to shop, of which 79% ultimately make a purchase?

According to a real time animation survey by GrabOn, at any given hour, there are 20,833 Flipkart orders and 18,750 Amazon orders placed. Paytm has 2500 orders every hour, making it 22 million orders every year. Approximately 329.1 million people are likely to buy goods and services online in India by 2020.

Online shopping has really been a boon to anyone who has loathed the idea of getting out of the house to go shopping. With so many payment options from cards to cash on delivery to EMIs to just paying later(eg- Simply, LazyPay)it has just gotten more and more people to switch to shopping online.

Flipkart and Amazon are the leading online retail stores. However, other websites exclusively for fashion and grocery shopping are leading their way up the ladder. Even PayTM has its own virtual mall to provide more options to choose from.

Midnight hunger pangs satisfied…

The days of standing in queues or calling up the restaurant to order food and being put on hold, are long gone. Thanks to apps like Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda and the latest Uber Eats, food ordering and delivery will never be the same.

Order what you want through the app and make your special requests through the app only. Not just related to order but the delivery too. You can order food post midnight and still enjoy a wide variety of food choices.

The summoning of strangers to drive you around!

Ola and Uber provide us with transport wherever we want to go. On an average, in India, there are 2 million Ola rides taken and 712, 219 Uber rides booked. They even come with budget saving options such as Ola Share and Uber Pool options. The payment options that they come along with are just as good.

The deal with online transactions is that there’s a record of everything. So it’s increasingly hard for fraud transactions and hiding the black money and even evading taxes. That’s the thing with internet. It sees everything, it knows everything, it tracks everything, it records everything. Every move you take, every step you make it’s there.

When the internet came into existence a lot of people weren’t exactly sure if it’s here to stay or it would be one of those lost causes. But look at us now, just can’t survive without it. So, do you think digital transactions are here or is it something that will slowly fade away leading to something better?

3 thoughts on “Digital India 2018: How A Billion People Ditched Cash & Went Online!”

  1. The future of payment solution is digital wallet. More and more people are using the idea to pay via cards, QR Code, PayTM and other solutions since they tend to be more convenient


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