India being a developing country it is important to take actions ensuring sustained development. Sustainability is possible only when the group of people who are excluded must be enabled to actively participate in nation building. With recent demonetization, it is mandatory for everyone to be a Digital Financial Literate and to enable a cashless nation. However, the major challenge will be the inclusion of rural and semi-rural groups in this effort without disrupting their livelihood.
Digital Financial Literacy will enable individuals to actively enable the various modes of Digital Financial Services instead of using cash notes. Ever growing and affordable smartphone market along with cheap Mobile data/ Internet services are added advantage to the effort.
For the time being, the recommended alternatives for cashless transactions by the Government are,
- UPI – Unified Payments Interface
- Cards – Debit/Credit/Prepaid Cards
We will be discussing about various methods in our next post.
Recently, our team mate went on a train journey across India covering rural, semi-rural & urban areas. One of the key takeaways, in most places the required basic infrastructure to carry out cashless transaction are available – both network and smartphones. But, usage are so limited mostly around communication and entertainment.
We expressed our interest in teaching them about browsing through mobile. They are interested too. It took about 20 mins for them to independently search and get their required information. This scenario, is a good example that people lose opportunity due to lack of awareness not that they aren’t interested in trying new things.
The technical side towards cashless economy going great and doing its part. There isn’t much awareness campaigns, events promoting cashless transaction, etc are happening. In rural and Semi-rural where the majority of middle India still exists proper motivation and influence must be given to enable them to be a part of Cashless Economy.
Approach and the system should gain trust of people before they can actively use it. Trust comes when people are so clear about the process involved. Only through rigorous and active campaigns by or supported by stake holders and influencer’s can lead to gain of trust.
Again, the typical ecosystem involves customers, suppliers, manufactures, retailers, etc., and all of them must be on the same page supporting cashless transactions. When one of them, not in favor will reflect on other said stake holders.
Since, there isn’t much of on-field action by the government to promote cashless economy even at places where intense efforts is mandatory. Cashless economy efforts seems to us more of a numbers game than focusing on true impact.
What’s your take on it?