The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

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.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?