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Is cashless economy possible in India?

Cashless economy : in most of the trade and commerce, transactions will take place with the help of ICT technologies.

Indian government is keen to introduce and make India cashless society. To achieve this, government had initiated schemes such as Pradhan mantri digital saksharta mission , digidhan Jan Yojana etc. But is Indian society ready to accept this change? Is India ready with required infrastructure?

Indian population is increasing exponentially but penetration of ICT technologies is abysmally low.according to UNITU ICT development report India ranks 138th out of 175 countries . In India 40% of population does not own mobile and they is huge gender gap in accessibility of ICT technologies. In urban only 42% of population have knowledge of mobile computing whereas in rural area it is 28%.

Lack of banking facilities in rural areas discourage unorganised sector labours to utilise digital transactions who accounts more than 65% of total labour force in India and they are paid directly by cash rather than through digital transfer or cheques. Though there is growth in debt card and credit card acceptance but Availability of PoS machines is 683 per 1 million people and there is no incentives for merchants to utilise PoS machines so in total volume of transaction, debt card transaction is just 12% .

Non availability of RGETs facility for 24 hours and lack of incentives for costumers is failing to attract people towards cashless society. Some other barriers which is acting against cashless economy are availability of phone signals and internet connectivity. Percentage of population with internet access is 31% in India. 30% of population lives below poverty line (earns less than 1.25$ per day) means around 430 million people cannot afford to become part of digitalisation .

India lacks cyber security infrastructure and required number of cyber security professionals is abysmally low. Recent cyber attacks such as wanna-cry will strengthen reluctancy of people to take part in cashless initiatives.

It is clear by given societal situation, achieving cashless society is not going to be easy even though it has beneficial side of it, it will affect socio-economic conditions of the people.so Indian government have to take up all pertaining problems to achieve cashless economy.
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