As India gets set to be a less-cash economy post demonetisation, the focus has been on adopting electronic means of transacting. That includes existing measures like RTGS (real time gross settlement), NEFT (national electronic funds transfer), IMPS (immediate payment service), mobile banking and debit cards where users transact through their banks and credit cards. The new means that are in play include UPI (unified payment interface), USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) and e-wallets.
But this may not be as easy a job as the government is making it sound. Unlike Sweden, where cash is hardly used today, the country has major infrastructural bottlenecks that the government would need to address before it can even think about a cashless society. Though India has the world’s second largest smartphone base after China, penetration is still just 23%; internet penetration is at 46%. Moreover, there is a problem with literacy regarding these modes of payments. So even though the government is trying, it will be a while before the average Indian is comfortable in dealing with non-cash alternatives on a regular basis.