Sunday, April 19, 2020

Still transacting by cash? Digital karona!


April 12, 2020, 12:07 AM IST  in The WriteClick | Economy | TOI
If there is one item which we handle every day, which changes hands very often and one which we essentially use it for our living, it is cash. From buying groceries to paying for our amenities, we need money. Physical cash has that advantage of being handy, which does not involve one to worry for network connections like digital payment mediums. For the past 15 days, all of us are obsessed with sanitizing our hands every now and then, which in fact is a good practice. But how many of us know that the one thing which has the highest potential of being host to microbes is the one thing which we hold dearly- cash? Banks have started using gloves to handle cash. What about us the public?
 There are not many options to deal with #DirtyCash. Apart from its own disadvantages of being susceptible to ‘tears and wears’ and posing a high risk of being stolen or lost, physical cash being a potential medium for transfer of virus has made the task of finding an alternative super important. While a Whatsapp video of a man ironing cash in an attempt to sterilize the cash went viral, it will be practically impossible to iron our cash every time before using it. One option though is to turn to digital payments. Heartening to note is that most online stores have now disabled cash on delivery and insisted for digital payments.
There are certain challenges associated with digital payments. If there are concerns about the existence of a wide number of people without the technological know-how to operate payment platforms, there are equal concerns for the number of issues related to digital payments like; wrong credits, frauds, transaction failure but account debited, charges and fees, etc. While the first concern is more or less resolved by the implementation of Adhaar based payments through Bank Mitras/ Bank correspondents, frauds related to online transaction has seen an alarming rate of increase. The age-old advice of not sharing personal and account-related details still seems to be compromised. On the issue of reversal for transaction failures, financial institutions including payment agencies should work towards resolving it at a much quicker time for digital payments to be considered the undoubted mode of payments for all.
The benefits of digital payment are that; it is fast, easy and convenient. Gone are the days when simple tasks like sending money or enquiring balance took hours of standing in a queue. Now, that is just a click away. Post demonetization, the number of people opting digital transactions to cash has increased manifold. Now, we have the financial infrastructure to pay almost everything through online/digital transactions. The widespread use of digital payments and our decreasing dependence on cash will eventually lighten, to an extent, the Central Bank’s burden of printing, circulating, recollecting and storing the notes; all of which involve the utilization of vast resources.
The benefits of Digital banking far overweight its challenges. It is only expected that this medium of transaction will see wider usage and acceptance in the days to come. As the country strives to be a less-cash society, there is no prize for guessing what the alternative is. Taking note of the prevailing situation around us, when everything and anything ought to be sanitized, there is no better time than now to avoid cash transactions. If you are wary of receiving and paying notes and if you want safe and secured transactions, Digital karona!

1 comment:

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