Published On : Sat, Nov 26th, 2016

Traders to adopt less cash economy-digital payments will be intensified

At a conference organised today by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), traders declared readiness to adopt digital payments and that only last bridge remains to be crossed in realizing breadth of solutions available. The conference was attended by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog along with Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP and Ajay Pandey, DG, UAIDI where both BC Bhartia, National President, CAIT and Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT assured the government that it is committed to lead the digital payments revolution in the country. Citing work done so far and over the last 2 years in partnership with global payments leader Mastercard, CAIT launched its exclusive website of promoting less cash and also a’Less Cash Manifesto’ wherein top priority CAIT has highlighted is for traders to be made aware of ‘HOW’ and ‘WHERE” these technological solutions can be accessed.

The CAIT has declared to organise a India Economic Summit on forthcoming 2nd and 3rd December at New Delhi on Digital Payments, Financial Inclusion and GST. Trade Leaders from different States, Economists, Technology providers, Banks, Financial Institutions and others will be attending the Summit.

Speaking at the Conference, Amitabh Kant said that the biggest economic revolution by demonitising will be successful only if digital payment system is adopted at mass level.Calling CAIT as a visionary organisation, he said that being the strongest national level traders body it must lead an aggressive national campaign for promotion of digital payment. Addressing the traders he said that “Jab Aap AAgey Badengey Tabhi Desh Aagey Badega”. Demonatisation will lead to cash less and digital economy.It will lead to increase in Bank deposits, structural weakness in banks will go, interest rates will fall and tax rates may also come down and will have no issue of counterfeit economy.

Ramesh Abhishek, Secretart, DIPP appealed to the traders that they have to adopt technology, digital payment system and doing business through e commerce. Dr. Ajay Pandey, DG, UAIDI said that thumb impression and Aadhar Card number will be the future mode of identification and will work for smooth transfer of funds.

Speaking at the occasion, Praveen Khandelwal said, “We realize India is a cash transacting friendly country. The biggest reason that this parallel cash economy has been able to thrive is that small traders, business owners have always shunned by banks owing to technicalities involved in opening an account, low penetration of banks and ATMs, low number & reluctance of banks to deploy/incentivise deployment of POS terminals, and large disproportionate concentration of POS terminals (estimated 70%) deployed in just Tier 1 cities. Although and as per publicly available data, 14 lakh merchants accept cards now, it is only logical to draw this comparison against aggressive wallet providers who claim to have few crores as registered merchants. Thus it is easy to conclude that a trader is comfortable learning about newer ways of technologies provided it is price sensitive and easy to use.”
According to BC Bhartia, “These days there are options available, both hardware and mobile based. While safest is to deploy POS terminals, technologies such as wallets (both open and semi-closed), QR code based and banking mobile apps have made it easy for traders to compare benefits against cost of accepting digital payments. What now remains and all thanks to Honorable Prime Minister and Finance Minister for making digital payments a true testament of Digital India, is for all ecosystem players such as banks, NBFCs, MFIs, fin-tech startups to on-board by educating traders across categories. While it may lead to confusion of sorts as well, in the end it is heartening to see merchants benefiting as a result of increased competition. While youth today appears to be comfortable using these applications, it surely is about time we learn from the next generation of ways of making our businesses more productive and profitable.”

Basis numbers released, CAIT has so far organized over 150 seminars, conferences, round-tables and workshops in over 30 cities across different states and reached over 20 lakh traders to promote the adoption of electronic payments. The module ‘Master Your Card’ training has proved to be effective and is now coming handy when the government accelerates its intensity to penetrate every part of India via digital means.