Digitalization offers a holistic experience to consumers by making different processes simpler, time-saving, effortless and accurate.
The 2nd decade of the 21st century is coming to an end and if we look back, we will realize how drastically our way of life has changed in the past decade. It seems that anything that you want is available on your smartphones. Even if something is yet not there, then you have got a million-dollar idea to bring it on because the world is undergoing a digital transformation and we are an integral part of it.
We are at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is fundamentally transforming the way we work, live and relate to each other.
From watching our favourite films, web series or shows online within the comfort of our bedrooms to ordering delicious food, booking cab, flight tickets, and buying clothes and groceries anytime anywhere simply by using a smartphone, our regular chores have come to the conveniences of a few clicks.
Physical distance is no more a barrier to communication as social media platforms and online communication applications have connected us closely with our friends and family.
Besides, online transactions are another significant aspect of digital transformation. We can undertake simpler, faster and safer transactions using digital wallets or fin-tech applications like UPI, Paytm, Ongo, Google Pay, etc. Digital transactions are very helpful during emergency situations. For example, during Kerala and Assam floods, people rigorously used the UPI app to make donations to aid victims and sufferers in the affected areas.
At the base of all these transformations lie digital payments without which none of this would have been possible.
While Demonetisation was the single most important event in the history of India Digital Payments, it was just a part of the Government’s long-term plan in making India a truly digital economy. The JAM (Jan Dhan – Aadhaar – Mobile Phones) trinity, as a Harvard Business Review called it, played a major role in the evolution of digital payments in the country.
With 99% of Indian adults enrolled in Aadhaar and 350 million Jan Dhan Accounts opened through it, we saw digital payments transforming itself from a metropolitan phenomenon to an everyday tool for the countrymen from tier 3 and tier 4 cities. Now we have digital payment options such as internet banking, card payments, wallet payments and UPI/QR payments available across online stores and in our nearby grocery stores.
While it was the heightened awareness regarding the payment options that have helped the quick transformation we witness, a further increase in awareness will make the general public conscious of possible security threats or intrusion into our personal matters such innovations would bring.
Digitalization had such an incredible effect on our lives that digital marketing has grown into being one of the most crucial aspects of Marketing. Let’s turn the clock a bit back and remember this one ad that the Telecom Company ran claiming how it can establish knowledge inclusion in the country through its high-speed Internet. While it was merely an ‘Idea’ then, with the digital transformation it is almost a reality as people are gaining more from the knowledge sharing hubs online than traditional classrooms.
In essence, it is exactly what digitalization is attempting, ‘Inclusion’. It can be ‘Financial Inclusion’, with which availing a bank account is now paperless, hassle-free and faster. It can be ‘Knowledge Inclusion’ as mentioned above. It can even be ‘Social/Cultural Inclusion’; we are far more exposed to foreign culture, history, and ideas that can shape our thinking.
Moreover, the government has recently declared FASTag which is an RFID based payment system that will radically reduce the waiting time at Toll Booths. ‘HP Fastlane’ a product by AGS Transact using the RFID technology helps ease the hassle of payment at fuel filling stations.
Referring to the examples shared in this article, it is evident that consumers are getting extremely benefited from the digital wave. Digitalization has positively impacted all the industries, be it finance, medical, education, technology or any other market segment. Digitalization offers a holistic experience to consumers by making different processes simpler, time-saving, effortless and accurate. Consequently, consumers are also proactively adopting digitalization to streamline their regular chores as much as possible.
According to Digital India – Technology to Transform a Connection Nation’ by McKinsey Global Institute, 560 million Indians subscribed to the Internet in the year 2018 and is expected to increase by 40% to between 750 million and 800 million.
What these statistics indicate is that this all could be just a beginning to even greater innovation we will witness in the future.
It is expected that as the ecosystem will develop, digitalized segments will be driven by automation. This will certainly enhance the speed and power of the prevailing digital services, devices, and any related thing. Moreover, many technological developments like wearable payment accessories, internet of things and payments, AI, ML, face recognition, hand gesture recognition, payment through sound, etc. are yet to step into the industry to scale up the future scenario. Such developments would not only make digital transactions more secure, efficient and faster, but would bring umpteen benefits to the economy as well.
(By Sunil Khosla, Head Digital Business, India Transact Services Ltd)