30 September, 2020

Fast Track To Cashlessness

Demonetisation has hastened the process for breaking currency barriers

Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
Fast Track To Cashlessness

For Madhu, a 40-year-old home-­maker in Noida near Delhi, life has totally changed ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announ­ced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8. In the days that followed, with an acute shortage of liquid cash in the market and with the banks, Madhu and her friends have made payments and bought their daily wares like they have never before—­without cash. They are among lakhs of Indians who have been pushed to use plastic or other means to carry on their eve­ryday transactions—credit or ­debit cards, online transfers, net banking, mobile-based apps and e-wallets.

Cashless transactions used to happen even before demonetisation, but their use was scanty at best and not many used cashless transactions regularly to conduct their lives. India was primarily a cash economy and a cash society where only a small fraction of transactions was cashless. “More than 90 per cent of personal consumption exp­enditure used to happen in cash in India,” says A.P. Hota, managing director and...



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