Digital Payments Providers Cheer Indian Gov’t War on Counterfeit Cash
Electronic payments providers in India are celebrating the Indian government’s abolition of the Rs 500 ($7.46) and Rs 1,000 ($14.92) currency notes, which went into effect Nov. 8, because it’s driving transactions to their platforms.
Consumers have until the end of business on Dec. 30, 2016, to deposit Old High Denomination Bank Notes into their bank accounts and/or exchange them in bank branches or Reserve Bank of India Issue Offices. Although the government said the move is meant to fight counterfeit currency and its use to finance terrorism, the ban could be a boon for electronic payments in the country, where mobile wallet providers already are seeing upticks in transactions, according to DealStreet Asia. Paytm told the news outlet it has seen a 250 percent spike in overall transactions, while Freecharge claimed that the average wallet balance on its platform increased 12 times since the announcement.
“We welcome this extremely bold and much needed step by Prime Minister Modi and the government to cure us from disease of cash in our society,” said Naveen Surya, chairman of the Payment Council of India and managing director, ItzCash. “I along with Payment Council of India and ItzCash greatly admire this move and provide our full support.” The Payment Council of India promotes electronic payments industry growth and financial inclusion. Pay Award-winning ItzCash is a pioneer in electronic payments in India, with more than 110 million prepaid accounts issued and more than 35 million consumers served annually, according to the company.
ItzCash also has experienced a surge of 30 to 40 percent in transaction volume, chief growth officer Bhavik Vasa tells Paybefore. “We consider this to be a game-changer as this will mark a cultural and behavioral shift in the Indian consumer mindset towards acceptance and usage of digital payments and be a catalyst for long-term, multifold growth.”