India’s journey towards becoming a cashless economy seems smooth, at least going by the figures released by RBI on virtual and cashless payments for FY 2015, recently. The central bank claimed that more transactions were done through ATM, debit cards, credit cards, Internet Banking and online wallets compared to the traditional paper-based transactions during the last financial year.
Paper-based transactions in the last financial year i.e. 2014-15, happening through cheques, amounted to Rs85 lakh crore, while paperless transactions in the same year using credit cards, debit cards, NEFT and online wallets amounted to Rs92 lakh crore, according to the RBI report.
The largest public sector banker, the State Bank of India, reports that as much as 69 per cent of daily transactions through them are cashless, which is a 35% increase over the previous fiscal in virtual transactions.
One of the major factors pushing cashless transactions, experts feel, is rise in e-commerce activities in the country. Besides, various banks and financial institutions offering discounts on purchase with credit/debit cards, and online wallets offering attractive deals for payments have made more and more Indians opt for paperless transactions. Availability of electronic items at easy EMIs has also played a major role in this context.
The rise in cashless transactions is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent call urging all citizens go for cashless transactions as much as possible, as that is the best way to track down the hidden black money. Even the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, in his Budget speech had stated that the government would encourage people to make use of debit/credit cards rather than cash transactions to plug the leakage of money from the economy.