Cashless society for cleaner transactions [BusinessInsider]


The government at the centre, which has been talking about bringing back black money and curbing black money from generated within the country, has embarked upon landmark reforms. If these measures are implemented in a manner that their spirit is intact, black and illegal means of stashing away the money would soon be a passe. Because, the government is moving towards making the country cashless society soon, so that the transactions can be traced with the help of technology.

This must be one of the most far reaching application of technology that can impact the common person who isn’t possessing a credit or debit card per se, since most of the banks till now extended this facility only to those who belonged to a certain income category, and it was really a matter of choice.

Cashless country will transact with the help of financial tools such as bitcoin. Though this may take nearly a decade or two to make a shift completely, India is surely on the road to this destination already.

While presenting Budget 2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said cashless society will be a significant direction for India, which is treading the path of being the empowered nation as far as financial health is concerned.

“One way to curb the flow of black money is to discourage transactions in cash. Majority of Indians can access RuPay or debit card,” he had said. With clearly an alternate structure in place, measures will soon be introduced that will incentivise credit or debit card transactions and discourage cash transactions from taking place.

National Payments Corporation of India has already launched RuPay debit and Credit cards to meet the needs of Indian consumers, traders, merchants and financial institutions such as banks etc. Flexibility of product platform and high levels of acceptance, along with hassle-free access and usage are among the strong reasons that RuPay is making inroads into various parts of the country.

If things work fine, the GST system will be integrated by April 1, 2016 to ensure fool-proof indirect tax system that will ensure transparency. Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar and Mobile transactions – referred to as JAM Trinity – will be used to put the cashless transaction methods in place.
This will allow the country to benefit from cleaner transactions and leakage-proof accountability for any high value transactions which often breed black money.

Internationally too, the concept has already found takers in the west. Recently, the UK Payments Council said in 2013, cashless payments made up to over half of the total payments made by business houses, consumers and financial institutions. The number is bound to increase with every passing year.

The Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan had recently endorsed the transactions aided by bitcoin would help make India a cashless society soon which had all transactions accounted for.

Digital currencies seem like the future of all transactions for India, with the thrust being placed upon curbing illegal transactions and rising levels of corruptions in various offices.

One of the main problems the country would perhaps face in the implementation and integration of cashless society and transitioning into RuPay or Bitcoin is the fact that these digital currencies have huge security issues that can turn into a challenge. That apart, huge population groups using these currencies can also pose a challenge if they are not planned for.

Fluctuation value is another major issue that could raise pertinent questions on the transactions aided by digital currency. A stable store value is the most important aspect of money. Something that fluctuates can actually change the way money is being used in various forms.
However, these concerns are being raised at a point where the talks are still on about turning countries into cashless societies. Since the stalwarts of digital currency would have perceived these challenges in some form or the other, safety issues would soon be addressed to provide at least minimal insulation to the end users.

Such security challenges can jeoparadise the future of cashless society. But, addressing them with caution and care would only help the concept of cashless society grow into a norm, more than the exception.

RBI is confident that the cashless society would soon be inevitable, and digital currencies would drive that change. More and more usage would only mean wider acceptance and down the line, these currencies will ensure the challenges being addressed and resources being distributed well among various classes of the society. Though digital currencies can address a host of problems, using them without exercising proper discretion can also put society into danger.

Digital currency will address the growth of e-commerce which is booming in India. This is where the future is, and the country has chosen to walk the road of future than be left behind.

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