Cashless economy still a distant dream, says Airplay’s Amit Kapoor

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DemonetisationDigitisation is the most talked about issue in India and there is a lot of push from the Centre to transform the country into a cashless economy. However, the required digital infrastructure is still lagging behind despite the demonetisation drive, according to Amit Kapoor, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Airpay Payment Services.

According to the BCG Google report, digital transactions worth $500 billion would be processed by 2050. But the transactions would largely into segments namely consumers paying consumers, consumers paying merchants, merchants paying corporate vendors, payments and consumers paying government utilities.

“If you further dissect this data, you will realise that a large number of transactions are not between consumers paying consumers or utility payments but it’s actually consumers paying corporate followed by corporate paying vendors,” added Kapoor.

This almost comprises of sixty-five seventy per cent of the entire transaction economy. So if you want to inquire about the source of entire merchant payment ecosystems, the thrust of it is 40 per cent of the payment transactions that are going to migrate from cash to digital a lot of data sets.

“We have been facing a lot of problems pertaining to poor infrastructure, low point-of-sale terminals etc. Before demonetisation there were 1.3 million PoS terminals and but it is now doubled to 2.5 million,” he added.

“But we are still lacking in this regard. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, we are one-tenth of the acquired PoS terminals that is required. We actually want 25 billion worth of terminals in the market,” said Kapoor.

Every operational bank (there are 3,000 plus banks) and Non-Banking Financial Companies(NBFCs) in India are very strong in issuing but in real sense there are largely seven to eight banks that are largely dominating the acquiring space. So, how do they get into the acquiring infrastructure?

“Airplay offers the banks with a white label acquiring platform, right from a lead management to an MIS level reporting infrastructure, to the digital KYC approval, complete online automated operation platform and allowing them to process and accept money digitally as well as accept money digitally,” he added.

“We work with a lot of banks and one of them Bank of Maharashtra. We’ve also implemented Bharat QR code acceptance for them and accepted digital acceptance devices for them we deploy point-of-sale terminals for them,” Kapoor added.