For many years, credit/debit cards have remained the most common form of electronic payments in India. But off late this trend is slowly changing. Today payments via digital wallet, mobile payments and virtual/crypto currencies are getting more and more common among people.
Indian Payment landscape
In today’s highly digitized world where virtual currencies like Bitcoin have almost taken over the world, India, in terms of the digital payments, is still lacking far behind. Despite the several payment system initiatives taken by the Reserve Bank of India to increase the penetration of non-cash payment modes, cheques have continued to be the dominant mode in retail payments, constituting 54 percent in terms of volume and 82 percent in terms of value (2011-12) with retail electronic payments lagging far behind, as per the figures released by RBI.
The report also reveals that the benefits of modern electronic payment systems are yet to reach all sections of the society and be accepted across the length and breadth of the country—with the modern electronic payments being limited majorly to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.
Innovations in Payment Systems
New technologies such as cloud computing, mobile telephony and growing popularity of virtual currencies are bringing significant changes in the way payments are processed in the country. According to a report released by ASSOCHAM and Deloitte, critical factors viz. mass reach, security, service provider agnostic, ease and convenience of operation, leverage on existing infrastructure and competitive pricing are the most critical factors for the success of mobile payments in India.
Near Field Communication, or NFC is another technology which in conjunction with mobile phone is likely to drive the future payments. However, innovation is essential by companies to provide safe, secure and efficient payment systems and move towards a payment product which is channel agnostic.
Technology has offered several ways of payment to a modern consumer, but has our regulatory policy stance been efficiently oriented towards promoting a cashless society? Do we, as a consumer, emphasize on the use of electronic payment products and services that can be accessed anywhere and anytime by all, at affordable prices ?
Discover more on latest online payment trends in India at the upcoming IRE2014. To contact the author, email at firstname.lastname@example.org