After more than a year, it is probably time to take a dispassionate look at the real impact of demonetization on digital payment in India
Post-demonetization, when we were left with literally no money in our pockets, it is Paytm that most of us turned to. Some of us had Paytm accounts; some of us did not. And the only thing that separated us, the Paytm-haves, from our Paytm-havenot friends, is the use of Uber services.
Yes, almost all of us had signed up for Paytm because initially, that is the only form of payment that Uber accepted.After some time, while the cab-aggregator started accepting cash, we stuck to wallets because it was far more convenient. Yet, few used Paytm for anything else. And here, I am talking of a set of people who have been using non-cash payments such as credit cards and debit cards for several years now.Why did we start using Paytm? Elementary, my dear Watson; that is the only type of payment the neighborhood kirana store accepted; that is the only form of payment Mother Diary outlets in Delhi accepted; the usage was everywhere. After more than a year, it is probably time to take a dispassionate look at the real impact of demonetization on digital payment in India. What better way than analyzing data to ensure that dispassionateness? That is what we have done, largely, in this issue’s cover story
So, what are the findings?
I do not want to give them away here but can actually say this much—it does confirm the anecdotal evidence that digital payment enhanced its breadth post-demonetization, reaching sections that had never used that before. The headline on the cover would have given you that already! We have also tried to figure out what it could mean for businesses? The consumer businesses and digital payment systems support each other. Initially, the (ab)use of Uber started Paytm.
Talking of Uber, at the time of writing, it is there in news for wrong reasons—for allegedly failing to report massive compromise of customer data and paying hackers to hide it. Well, when we talk of digital payments, digital business, digital India and 4th industrial revolution, we cannot close our eyes to this real threat. In case of payment, a hack could actually mean a direct financial loss to all parties.
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After more than a year, it is probably time to take a dispassionate look at the real impact of demonetization on digital payment in India. What better way than analyzing data to ensure that dispassionateness?