Digital Banking – A path towards Cashless Future

In 2016, demonetization created shortage of currency in India, this led to an urgent need to change banking. A solutions was required which would help people to conduct banking at ease, without the need for cash. This was the right time to promote internet banking, mobile banking, mobile wallets and other digital payment options that were not widely used and accepted. This created a growth opportunity for Digital Banking in India.

The Smartphone market in India has significantly grown in the last decade and their users have increased drastically and also, introduction of low-cost smartphones has resulted in an increased user base for them. Competition between new entrants and existing manufacturers in mobile phone industry has benefited the consumer in both price and features. It is predicted that by 2021 the number of smartphone users could reach 468 million users from the current 340 million users in 2017. While telecom service providers offer internet connections at low tariffs, the reach of internet has increased to support the growing smartphone user-base. This opens a world of opportunities for digital banking solutions.

The Payments industry in India has gone through a lot of development, currently India has payment options such as:
1. Cash
2. Cheques
3. Credit and Debit Cards
4. Internet Banking
5. Mobile Banking
6. USSD
7. Unified Payment Interface(UPI)
8. Bharat BillPay
9. Aadhaar Pay
10. Mobile Wallets e.g. Paytm, Oxygen, Phone Pe, etc.
11. Contact less payment options – Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.

The payments system can be now divided into two stage i.e. Pre Demonetization and Post Demonetization.
1. Pre Demonetization period- Dominated by Cash and Cheque payments followed by Credit Card and Debit Card payments being accepted by few merchant and resellers.
2. Post Demonetization – evolved payment systems and adopted digital payment technology.

Apart from traditional banks entering the digital payments segment, change in rules and regulations has allowed new entities to operate mobile wallets, payment banks, etc. Today, digital wallets are used more often by consumers replacing traditional payment methods.

The exponential growth in E-Commerce has been a major factor in leading people to use digital payment methods. For e.g. E-commerce websites introduced Card-On-Delivery (COD) payment services which allows the buyer to pay by Debit/Credit Card at the time of delivery, this is implemented in all major of cities and other parts of India.
NPCI introduced Bharat BillPay and BHIM app to increase cashless transaction while paying utility bills and transfer money immediately in real-time respectively.

Traditional banks in India have transformed themselves into modern digital banks. This major step has increased the use of digital banking. They are promoting the use of Digital Banking Services as this helps the banks to reduce the cost of operation and enhances the overall customer experience. A simple digital banking channel will allow Non-Digital Customers also to start using these Digital Banking Services.

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