Reserve Bank of India has launched a survey to assess people’s payment habits, ostensibly to gauge the awareness and popularity of digital payments and the reasons for not using it. The survey is also taking suggestions on how to promote digital payments.
The survey is originally meant to approach 6,000 people to be selected from six cities viz, Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati. It takes various parameters such as age, occupation, income level, educational qualification into account.
The results of RBI’s survey may come in handy to assess the success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign. Modi and his associates had cited promotion of cashless economy as one of the main reasons behind demonetisation.
The users are asked if they are aware of the various modes of digital payments such as BHIM UPI, and also more traditional ones including net banking, NEFT, RTGS, IMPS. Survey takers will have to check the modes that they are aware of.
The idea is not only to measure the success and popularity of digital payment methods but also to understand if and why people do not choose those as their preferred mode of payment. This is evident by queries such as “Tick hindrance faced while doing digital payments (can tick more than one)”
A few major factors are often cited as hindrances people face in digital payments, such as complexity of digital transactions; cost-effectiveness of cash payments; less trust in digital mode; lack of resources for making digital payments (mobile phones, cards, Internet, etc); and the unfamiliarity with the digital methods. Add to that a shortage of Point of Sale (PoS) machines, QR codes, and better Internet connectivity.
The RBI survey has questions to assess how many people identify with these problems. Further, RBI has also asked the opinion of the users to have to get an OTP (one-time password) for making small value transactions up to Rs. 2000.
Many people find themselves challenged to make digital payments as it requires a certain level of understanding of technology, and for them digital payments are not the easiest mode of transactions. Hence they chose conventional cash over digital payments.
RBI has also put in a question to gather how much people trust others with their OTP, PIN and passwords. While it might be considered dangerous for security purposes, individuals sometimes divulge the sensitive info to family members, and even to strangers, leaving them vulnerable to frauds. The survey also asks how often people change the PIN for their debit/credit card/ mobile banking.