Digital payments are rising and mobile wallets are gaining significance, but cash is still the king. Cash still matters and will not go anywhere anytime soon, said Sri Shivananda, Chief Technology Officer of PayPal. In an interview with CNBC, Sri Shivananda said that the competition for digital payments is cash, adding: “It’s not even, like, you’re fighting for each other’s volumes. It’s actually cash.”
In fact, a PayPal study last year said the same thing. “…cash remains the preferred mode of payment across Asia, despite the fact that the region is becoming increasingly digitally connected as Internet penetration and smartphone ownership continues to rise,” Paypal study ‘Digital Payments: Thinking beyond Transactions’ had said. While cash is expected to remain the king, Sweden is on the track to leave cash behind completely by 2023 researchers, Niklas Arvidsson and Jonas Hedman have claimed.
The Paypal report also noted that 57% of people in India preferred using cash. This is despite the massive push for a digital economy. Last year, PayPal announced its India operations on the day country marks the first anniversary of demonetisation.
An analysis of RBI data has shown that nearly 18 months after the government banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes which made over 50 percent of the cash in the economy redundant, demand for cash among people has crossed the pre-demonetisation levels. The Currency with the Public (CwP) is 7 percent higher at Rs 18.25 trillion at April end compared with Rs 17 trillion at the start of November 2016, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed.