VIJAYAWADA: Three or more years will be required to make at least 50 per cent of the financial transactions in the country ‘cashless,’ from the present 15 per cent, that too, if concerted efforts are made to change people’s mindset.
This was the opinion of bankers who participated in an awareness programme, ‘Transformation to Digital World - Cashless Transactions’ organised by the Andhra Chambers here on Tuesday. Senior banking officials, including Vijaya Pratap, assistant general manager of Andhra Bank, Madhusudhan Goud, deputy vice-president of Axis Bank and, Sathish Thakur, region head of ICICI Bank, were among those who attended the workshop.
Debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, mobile banking, internet banking, and e-PoS come under cashless transactions. “Previously, one had to spend almost an entire working day at the bank to either encash a cheque, withdraw large amounts or for bank-to-bank transaction. But today, it can be done in almost no time from the comfort of one’s home,” Thakur pointed out.
He said almost 90 per cent of the people in the country have mobiles these days and of them, 30 per cent own a smartphone. “There are several payment gateways and now, the Reserve Bank of India through the National Payment Corporation of India has come up with a gateway called Unified Payment Interface that powers multiple banking services. Financial transactions from multiple bank accounts are now possible round-the-clock throughout the year,” he explained.
Elaborating further, Madhusudhan Goud said banks like Axis have come out with mobile applications through which banking transactions can be done without divulging one’s bank account.
“One need not have an account in a particular bank to use such mobile apps developed by that bank. For example, using our bank’s mobile app, a person having no account with us can do his banking transactions. It is easier and safer,” said deputy VP of Axis Bank. Both Goud and Thakur said mobile currency is easy to use and was being encouraged even for minor transactions like buying groceries.
M Vijaya Pratap sought to dispel the notion that cashless transactions were not secure. He stressed that the mindset of people needed to be changed. “We have seen, since demonetisation, that people are withdrawing more money than they need. It is fear, though unfounded, that is making them withdraw the money, which they would mostly not use immediately,” he said. All the three bankers along with AP Chambers president M Muralikrishna and general secretary P Bhaskar Rao admitted that there was a cash crisis post demonetisation but said it was an opportunity for promoting cashless transactions.