In the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic, the payments business is changing quickly. With a wide spectrum of new payment technology (via POS terminals or UPI payments) product breakthroughs and participants, the digital payment market is becoming increasingly innovative. Consumers now prefer using digital payments since they offer real-time and frictionless transactions. This uptake is being further charged with wave after wave of digital innovation in the payments sector, making India one of the largest Fintech markets, Innoviti being one of the pioneering few in this digital revolution.
Having said this, let’s familiarize ourselves with the various modes of payment before unpacking the future of cash vs the modern tech such as Credit card machine and the new age offers it brings to the table.
Modes of Payment
Since time immemorial, our evolving needs have witnessed a transformation in the currency of economic barter. From simple exchange of goods and services, to using precious metals, minting coins, using currency notes to value goods and services, and finally using currency that has no physical manifestation but great value, we have come a long way in how we transact.
As our needs evolved, so did the technology with which we produced tokens of monetary value. Cash, or currency notes of several denominations that are disbursed by a regulatory authority, has persisted.
Today, despite developed countries embracing a cashless payment ecosystem, cash is still in circulation, even if at the margins. As India is poised to become one of the leading fintech markets, cash seems to still be a familiar and resilient mode of payment, at least for everyday transactions.
One cannot whip out the phone to pay a 10 rupee bus ticket in a crowded bus. And if you don’t produce a crumpled note from somewhere, the bus conductor is going to get on your case.
Coins and paper money are both grouped under the umbrella term “cash.” Even though cash has the benefit of being instantly available, it is not the most secure method of payment because if it is lost or destroyed, it is virtually useless.
Think back to Demonitization when 500 and 1000 currency denominations become devalued overnight causing a cash shortage and panic in everyday India. Volatile economic periods and government decisions can gravely impact the availability of currency notes.
An order to pay money drawn by one branch of a bank upon another branch of the same bank for an amount payable to order on demand is referred to as a “bank draft.”
A convenient and secure physical means of transferring funds is via check. A cheque often takes time to be honored as it has to change hands: from the remitter of funds to the receiver of the cheque, which has to reach the relevant clerk at the relevant bank.
Post this, depending on the delays of manual processes, the money will reach the recipient’s bank account. The cheque may be crossed generically or specifically for security purposes to prevent payment to the incorrect individual.
Is Cash Still King?
There cannot be a straightforward answer to this question. Yes, there is a lot of cash in circulation. However, according to a recent Boston Group Consulting report, by 2026, 2 in 3 transactions are going to be digital. As the payments landscape shifts, to assume cash reigns supreme is an easy conclusion to arrive at. With increasing card penetration, improving connectivity and access, suburban towns and rural areas are expected to begin preferring digital payments over conventional cash.
RBI’s March rollout of UPI123Pay is a shift in this regard. The nation is piqued to go digital. UPI123Pay allows feature phone users to make transactions without the use of an internet connection. Through interactive-voice-response (IVR) and proximity sound-based payments users will be able to transfer and receive money and pay for goods even in connectivity-starved areas, thereby circumventing infrastructural limitations. Since its launch, a Press Trust India report claims that nearly 37,000 users have signed up for the service and 21,833 successful transactions and counting. UPI123Pay is sure to be a god send to 320 million users of feature phones in India.
Digitization is shaping the paradigms of how we pay, trading convention for ease. Government interest is heavily leaning towards a steady transition to a cash-free economy seen through initiatives like Jan Dhan Yojana, a financial inclusion initiative, that has led to the opening of nearly 430.4 million new bank accounts.
It seems that cash won’t be king for long. Surely when a mobile fruit vendor is open to accepting UPI over cash, the horizon of a cashless economy isn’t that far off.. With this in mind, merchants should be well equipped to cater to the payment preferences of customers. Hence, opting for sophisticated technology providers like Innoviti who facilitate frictionless transactions, from credit card swipes to taps on smartphones and wearables, can transform customer reception and retention, and cause huge turn overs.
- What is the maximum cash payment limit?
Any commercial payment that exceeds Rs 10,000 per person cannot be made in cash. Furthermore, section 43 states that cash payments cannot be made when purchasing any capital assets worth more than Rs 10,000.
2. A significant rise in the population of those subject to taxation
Every transaction will be documented if the economy goes cashless, making it impossible to avoid paying any taxes, whether they are direct taxes (like income taxes) or indirect taxes (GST etc.)
3. Lessening of corruption
There won’t be much room for corruption in a cashless society.
4. Intensive deterioration in the real estate sector
Black money is the lifeblood of the Indian real estate market. This will significantly decrease demand, which will cause prices to drop suddenly.
5. Possible development of a parallel monetary system
A cashless society would promote the development of a parallel monetary system that will be utilized to replace illegal market transactions.
- Can I pay the down payment with cash?
No, cash is typically not an acceptable choice for a down payment.