No clear-cut trend in economy going cashless

No clear-cut trend in economy going cashless


Paytm's founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was in the news recently for signing a deal to purchase a Rs. 82 crore worth property in Lutyens’ Delhi. He is credited with the growth of Paytm's mobile wallet services, which is currently being used by over 220 million users across the country. Although Paytm was launched in 2010, the popularity of its mobile wallet services and payment gateway among the ordinary citizens grew several folds only after 8 November, 2016 i.e. when the government banned currency notes of denomination Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/-.

Following demonetisation, there has been a push on the part of the officialdom to move towards a digital economy, from the existing cash-based economy. A look at the data pertaining to electronic payments (through various modes), which is provided by the Reserve Bank of India, would reveal the following facts:

* The total volume of digital transactions in the economy reached a peak of 957.5 million in December, 2016, but it did not reach such a high level in the subsequent months. It means that the ordinary citizens moved towards cashless transactions out of compulsion (following demonetisation of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- notes), and not out of choice. That is why the initial enthusiasm for cashless transactions petered out later on.
 
 
Source: Electronic Payment Systems – Data Dissemination (Updated as on 11 June, 2017), Reserve Bank of India

Notes:

The growth rates in volume and value of cashless transactions (over previous months) have been calculated by the Inclusive Media for Change team.

The data provided by RBI is provisional.
 
The source of data for Cheque Truncation System (CTS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), National Automated Clearing House (NACH), and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

NACH figures are for approved transactions only

The figures related to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is negligible. The source of data for USSD is NPCI.

The figures related to 'debit and credit cards at Point-of-Sale (PoS)' have taken into account card transactions of only 4 banks.

Prepaid Payments Instrument (PPI) issued by 8 non-bank issuers for goods and services transactions only have been taken into account in the data.

Mobile Banking figures are taken from 5 banks.

* Although the growth rate in total volume of digital transactions (over previous month) touched 42.6 percent in December last year, it did not reach such a high level afterwards. It indicates that the initial excitement among the users pertaining to cashless transactions tapered off once the demonetisation period got over. Please check chart-1.

* The growth in total volume of digital transactions (over previous month) turned negative in the months of January, February and April. The growth in total volume of digital transactions (over previous month) was negligible in May, 2017. Kindly see chart-1.

* The total value of cashless transactions reached a peak of approximately Rs. 1.5 lakh billion in March, 2017.

* The growth in total value of digital transactions (over previous month) became negative in the months of January, February and April. The growth rate in total value of digital transactions (over previous month) was 1.4 percent in May, 2017. Please see chart-1.

* The RBI data on electronic payments reveal that there has been a spurt in both volume and value of total cashless transactions during March, 2017 as compared to the previous two months.  

Chart 2 Percentage share of various modes in total volume of transactions

Source: Electronic Payment Systems – Data Dissemination (Updated as on 11 June, 2017), Reserve Bank of India

Notes:

The percentage shares of various modes in total volume of electronic transactions (during different months) have been calculated by the Inclusive Media for Change team.

The data provided by RBI is provisional.
 
The source of data for Cheque Truncation System (CTS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), National Automated Clearing House (NACH), and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

NACH figures are for approved transactions only

The figures related to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is negligible. The source of data for USSD is NPCI.

The figures related to 'debit and credit cards at Point-of-Sale (PoS)' have taken into account card transactions of only 4 banks.

Prepaid Payments Instrument (PPI) issued by 8 non-bank issuers for goods and services transactions only have been taken into account in the data.

Mobile Banking figures are taken from 5 banks.

* During the month of May, 2017, the percentage share of the mode 'debit & credit cards at PoS' (i.e. 25.3 percent) in total volume of digital transactions has been the highest, followed by 'NACH' (21.1 percent), 'NEFT' (16.9 percent) and 'CTS' (10.5 percent). For the same month, the percentage share of the mode 'USSD' (i.e. zero percent) in total volume of digital transactions has been the lowest, followed by UPI (1.0 percent), 'RTGS' (1.1 percent) and 'mobile banking' (7.0 percent). Please consult chart-2.

* The percentage share of the mode 'mobile banking' in total volume of cashless transactions reached a peak of 9.7 percent in November, 2016 but never reached such a high level later on. Kindly see chart-2. It indicates how the government’s demonetisation measure aided mobile banking initially.

Table-1: Percentage share of different modes in total value of digital transactions during various months

Table 1 Percentage share of various modes in total value of digital transactions 
 
Source: Electronic Payment Systems – Data Dissemination (Updated as on 11 June, 2017), Reserve Bank of India

Notes:

The percentage shares of different modes in total value of electronic transactions (during various months) have been calculated by the Inclusive Media for Change team.

The data provided by RBI is provisional.
 
The source of data for Cheque Truncation System (CTS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), National Automated Clearing House (NACH), and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

NACH figures are for approved transactions only

The figures related to Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is negligible. The source of data for USSD is NPCI.

The figures related to 'debit and credit cards at Point-of-Sale (PoS)' have taken into account card transactions of only 4 banks.

Prepaid Payments Instrument (PPI) issued by 8 non-bank issuers for goods and services transactions only have been taken into account in the data.

Mobile Banking figures are taken from 5 banks.

* From the table-1, it could be observed that in the month of May, 2017, the percentage share of the mode 'RTGS' (i.e. 79.8 percent) in total value of digital transactions has been the highest, followed by 'NEFT' (11.0 percent), 'CTS' (6.0 percent) and 'mobile banking' (1.7 percent). For the same month, the percentage shares of the modes -- 'UPI', 'USSD' and ‘PPI’ (all zero percent) in total value of digital transactions have been the lowest, followed by 'debit & credit cards at PoS' (0.4 percent), 'IMPS' (0.5 percent) and 'NACH' (0.6 percent).

* On comparing chart-2 against table-1, it could be said that although 'RTGS' has a meagre share in total volume of cashless transactions, which hovers around 1 percent, it occupies an overwhelmingly large share (around 80 percent) in the total value of electronic transactions (from November, 2016 to May, 2017).

* The percentage share of the mode 'mobile banking' in total value of cashless transactions has stayed below 2.0 percent during the last 7 months.

Importance of going digital

Among other things, it has been argued by economists that a move towards a cashless economy would result in: a. Improvement in financial transparency and reduction in the generation of black money; b. Increase in tax base and thus tax collection; c. Financial inclusion; d. Reduction in incidence of corruption and tax evasion; and e. Reduction in the cost of printing hard currency.  

According to the official website http://cashlessindia.gov.in, there are various modes of digital payments that are available before the citizens. They are as follows:

1. Banking cards which include debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards etc. Examples: RuPay, Visa, MasterCard etc.;
2. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD);
3. Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS);
4. Unified Payments Interface (UPI);
5. Mobile Wallets: Most banks have their e-wallets, and some of the private companies are also providing mobile wallets such as: Paytm, Freecharge, Mobikwik, Oxigen, mRuppee, Airtel Money, Jio Money, SBI Buddy, itz Cash, Citrus Pay, Vodafone M-Pesa, Axis Bank Lime, ICICI Pockets, SpeedPay etc.;
6. Point-of-Sale devices (PoS devices);
7. Internet Banking, which includes National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), Electronic Clearing System (ECS) & Immediate Payment Service (IMPS);
8. Mobile Banking;
9. Micro ATMs.


References:

Electronic Payment Systems – Data Dissemination (Updated as on June 11, 2017), Reserve Bank of India, please click here to access
 
Promoting Digital Payments among People, please click here to access

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma to buy Rs 82 crore worth real estate in Lutyens’ Delhi, The Indian Express, 7 June, 2017, please click here to access
 
Mobile wallets see a soaring growth post-demonetisation -Sunny Sen, Hindustan Times, 1 January, 2017, please click here to access

Here are the advantages of cashless payments and the pitfalls you should beware of -Riju Dave, The Economic Times, 12 December, 2016, please click here to access 

Demonetisation’s impact on mobile wallets, Livemint.com, 7 December, 2016, please click here to access,
 
 
Image Courtesy: Inclusive Media for Change/ Shambhu Ghatak



Related Articles

 

Write Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Video Archives

Archives

share on Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Feedback
Read Later