In the wake of demonetisation and immense boost given to digital payment systems, Centre’s outreach via programs like DigiDhan Abhiyan has encouraged digital transactions among people. Nearly one in three in rural India have newly-enrolled on electronic payment systems under the Abhiyan and Alibaba-backed mobile wallet Paytm is on top. The government launched the scheme on December 9, where village-level entrepreneurs of the Common Service Centres (CSCs) organises workshops, where bankers and other stakeholders are invited. These entrepreneurs explain various modes of electronic payments to rural citizens.
According to the government data, since the launch of the scheme, ‘Paytm’ took the lead and got 28.92 percent share in the total rural citizens registered as compared with the cumulative adoption of just over 20 percent by government-backed Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) schemes.
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As per Indian Express, according to the information provided as on December 28 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), a total of 1.05 crore citizens in rural areas of the country had been brought onboard various digital payment tools during the period, of which the biggest chunk of about 30.34 lakh chose to be on Paytm. Among the 2.98 lakh merchants enrolled, out of which 82,746 merchants in rural areas enabled under the scheme to use digital payment tools on Paytm wallet. Dinesh Tyagi, CEO of CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd, was asked the reason behind for the skew between the number of people and merchants enrolled on Paytm and other government-backed platforms, he said that they give people every choice and do not insist on any one of them. “He decides which he feels is more comfortable to deal with. We don’t insist, we show them all… that these are the various mechanisms in which you can show the digital payment transaction, and then he decides. If he has a feature phone, he can actually do a USSD, he can’t do anything else,” Tyagi said.
In the trend in the merchants registered through DigiDhan Abhiyan, preferred e-wallets the most. The data showed more than 75 percent adopted mobile wallets, while UPI and USSD comprised 13 percent share of adoption. The points of sale (PoS) used for making debit and credit card payments saw relatively lower adoption with only 74,581, or 0.71 per cent, users, and 1,071, or 0.36 per cent, merchants enrolling with this option.