Is It Possible For India To Become A Cashless Country?

Posted by PInterview in Business and Economy
March 5, 2017

After demonetisation, Indians are forced to go for cashless transactions due to the scarcity of currency notes. However, are cashless transactions the future of India or just a seasonal flavour? Will this latest trend be able to stay forever or will it be gone once the Reserve Bank of India is able to supply enough currency notes?

Is India really ready to go cashless?

Arguments: Pro Cashless Transactions

Candidate A: First of all, I would like to posit that I am completely for the transition of India towards digital and cashless transactions. Narendra Modi’s demonetisation scheme is the first step towards achieving this goal. The major advantages of a cashless India would be a direct combat against corruption, illicit means of monetary exchange and other illegal activities revolving around legal tender and economic transactions.

Candidate B: I agree with your viewpoint. The notion of a cashless India cannot be refuted on a tentative supposition that it would be impossible to implement it. Other countries have managed to reduce the usage of cash in everyday transactions. Not only does it counter the issue of corruption and unlawful activities, but also seems to be a very convenient and facilitated method of monetary exchange.

Candidate C: I would like to add to Candidate B’s point about facilitation. A cashless India would bring about several companies like Paytm. They could be used for the tiniest of purchase, without any hassles of requiring change. We thrive in a digitally globalised era, and hence, we must advance towards and embrace this positive and advantageous and evolutionary change.

Candidate D: Other than convenience and accessibility of digital means of monetary exchange, a cashless India will infuse transparency into the system on the political, economic, social, legal and the educational front. Incomes, funds, taxes, loans, debits and credits would all be secure, yet visible and devoid of any black money, embezzling or any other fraud or hoax. This will inevitably lead to a progressive and an economically blemish-less India.

Candidate E: Speaking of a clean and blemish-less India, a cashless nation would also promote and lead to the conservation of the environment as trees would not be felled to produce paper notes. Furthermore, the counterfeiting of notes would come to a complete stop. A cashless approach would prove to be a true evolution for India.

Arguments Against Cashless Transactions

Candidate F: I beg to differ from Candidate A’s argument. While you claim that illicit activities will be combatted, I, on the contrary, believe that online frauds, threats and cyber-crimes will rise. Hackers and criminals will have newer ways to commit such offences. According to me, cyber-crimes are way more perilous. I base my argument on the statistics that suggest that over 30 lakh debit cards were recently hacked and their users were victimised by heavy financial losses due to leaked passwords, PINs, OTPs and hacked accounts.

Candidate G: I disagree with Candidate C’s view on facility and convenience.  A majority of India’s population is illiterate and a large number of people struggle in poverty. How would a grocery man or the laundry man, who barely earns enough to eat a couple of meals a day purchase smartphones with expensive internet packs? Most of the people cannot afford this luxurious approach or operate comfortably. Also, the people who beg for a living and the ones who barely earn enough to buy a vada-pav worth ₹10 a day, how are they going to pay and carry out transactions? A cashless future is not applicable to India.

Candidate H: I agree and would like to add to both their points. Even the people who have the privilege of possessing smartphones with internet, the internet speed, battery efficiency and the level of connectivity is not satisfactory. Internet efficiency is extremely unpredictable in India, and for a cashless culture to persist, the foundations have to be that effective, which India lacks. Moreover, with the constant need to transact money from electronic devices, many people would forget to log out or find it tedious to log in and out repeatedly. Open accounts are vulnerable to hacking and cyber-threats. I would call this cyber-pick pocketing. Crime will prevail.

Candidate I: Harping on the constant need to transact money, this convenience could also have a drawback wherein people would involuntarily end up spending more, without keeping a tab on their money, expenditure or savings. Furthermore, not everyone has a bank account. At times, one member owns an account and provides for the family. Thus, a cashless economy would result in more inconvenience than convenience.

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