Payments: India’s cash conundrum
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Payments: India’s cash conundrum

The argument that India will be the first cashless society doesn’t take into account the country’s most vulnerable people and the cultural attachment to cash.


Forget the Nordics – India is the country that is most likely to become the world’s first cashless society. Apparently.

Search #cashless and there is a swathe of tweets linked to Sweden, the UK, the US and increasingly India as banks and financial institutions across the country pump money into marketing campaigns to encourage Indians to drop paper money and go cashless.

Visa is the latest company to jump on the bandwagon – a move hoped to boost market share as it begins to lose out against homegrown payment providers. However, any affect the new campaign ‘Tap to pay with Visa. Just like that’ has had on the company’s bottom line is still unfolding.

Three factors

India’s willingness to adopt cashless solutions is driven by three factors, which payment providers such as Visa hope to take advantage of.

Firstly, there was demonetization, announced in November 2016. Prime minister Narendra Modi took all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes out of circulation in the hope it would eradicate black money from the economy and cut corruption.

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