We, the youngsters, want everything at lightning speed. We want to download movies before they’ve made it to the show and hear the latest music before the wax on the record has been pressed. It’s all about getting next year’s model, the phone of tomorrow and the newest, latest shiniest toy today.
Similarly, being the technophiles, mostly the youths of the nation are using mobile phones for online payments. Want to buy something on Amazon, pay online and its ours. Flipkart stock clearance sales going on, just a click and the product is at your doorstep. Want to send some gifts to your brother who stays in Mumbai, pay online and the work is done. Remember how easy was it for Harry Potter to go to 9 ¾ station to get the train to Hogwarts? Online payment is like that magical portal for the people who are way too busy to go to the shops, go through the products, try them on, wait at the long payment queues and return home completely exhausted.
Online payment method is spreading world-wide like forest fire.
In a third world country like India, the second highest populated nation, the idea of online payments is how much convenience is a much arguable topic to discuss on. “Around 88 per cent Indian consumers use mobile devices for online payment, according to a joint report by PayPal and IPSOS.” (THE TIMES OF INDIA)
Bill payments, online shopping, mobile recharge, purchasing movie tickets, ordering food online are the key sectors where online payment apps are widely used, mostly by the young generation. and over half the volume of online sales is made through in-app purchases.
Online payment has its own pros and cons.
The pros are as follows:
- Tackling and curbing circulation of black money
- Reduce corruption
- Digital transactions bring in better transparency, scalability and accountability
- Digital transactions are convenient and improve market efficiency
- It would bring down the logistics & cost involved in printing, managing and moving money around
- It will eliminate the risks associated with carrying and transporting huge amounts of cash
- Cashless economy will reduce the production of paper currency and coins, saving lots of production cost in turn
As a coin has two sides, despite having these pros, online payment methods have its cons as well.
- The impact of mobile wallets in hastening the transition to a cashless economy is clearly overstated. Merely 26% of India has internet access, and there are only 200 million users of digital payment services.
- Common man finds the usage of cards, mobile banking and PoS terminals to be a complex process. This requires large scale literacy and awareness campaigns to be run across the country.
- India struggles to keep pace with its growing population, in 2014, there were just 18 ATMs and 13 commercial bank branches for every 100,000 adults. Only 18% of all ATMs are deployed in rural India.
- Banking infrastructure is wide open to compromise and that has been witnessed on multiple occasions in recent years. In October 2016, 3.2 million debit card details belonging to multiple Indian banks were hacked.
- The potential loss of privacy is an obvious concern that comes with a cashless economy. Possibilities of personal surveillance and electronic snooping as well as profiling without consent have been pointed out by many.
As per PayPal and IPSOS m-Commerce report, social commerce adoption has been increasing in India with about 57 per cent of the consumers having made purchased through this channel in the past six months, with over half of them doing so weekly. ‘PayPal the IPSOS m-Commerce Report’ also said that 81 per cent of the merchants in India are optimistic about accepting mobile payments to match their level with the growing demand of consumer preferences.