Mobile money transactions have doubled since the country’s campaign last year against paper money
By Corinne Abrams and Debiprasad Nayak
MUMBAI—Following India’s crackdown on cash, millions of residents who have never even used a credit card are leapfrogging into mobile payments, finding phone apps more accessible than plastic.
The value of mobile money transactions has more than doubled since the nullification of 86% of India’s cash in circulation in November, while those made with credit and debit cards has fallen, and check purchases have barely budged. Mobile payments still make up only a small percentage of overall transactions, but their surging popularity is being noticed.
At this rate, cards and automated teller machines could be redundant in India by 2020, predicted Amitabh Kant, head of NITI Aayog, the government’s economic policy-making body. India’s government, along with removing paper money, has encouraged electronic payments by loosening regulations and adding infrastructure.
Mobile wallets could be the next example of countries pole-vaulting to the latest technology, in the same way that some emerging markets went directly to using cellphones, bypassing a landline network. More merchants already accept payments from Paytm, India’s largest mobile-payment company, than accept credit or debit cards in India. There are only 2.5 million card-scanning machines in the country, while 5 million merchants accept Paytm through their smartphones.
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