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Digital Payments Roadmap In India

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Digital Payments Roadmap In India

Bharat Panchal, Chief Risk Officer - APAC, Middle East & Africa, FIS, 0

In his career spanning close to three decades, Bharat has handled key responsibilities across companies such as AVAYA GLobalConnect, Reliance Communications, Citi Technology Services, Kotak Mahindra Bank, PCI Security Standards Council, and NPCI, to name few.

Currently, India has the pivotal position in the thrilling era of digitalization. Certainly, during the previous decade, digitalization has spurred the boost, with the electronic commerce industry becoming a significant component and the digital payment system. But, India's digital environment is yet to reach to a mature level, as it is underwriting a great deal of transition driven by policy and technological adoption. The digital payment system has changed its dynamics as the poster child of the banking sector. Digital payment trends are rapidly increasing, with large battlefield companies giving cashback, incentives and offering users the chance to utilise their platforms.

The increasing smartphone penetration and cheaper Internet have greatly benefited digital carriers and began to take-up a role in the lives of customers. Thanks to pandemic, not only are firms trying to acquire consumers, but the customers have started to understand how important it is to have a digital alternative of payment when shopping. The digital transaction industry is gaining momentum and exponential growth, which is also a good indication for the economy. The shift inhabit was imposed and when the demonetization declared, the entire digital payment trend grew more powerful.

Impact of the Pandemic on Digital Payment
COVID-19's continued spread has become one of the most serious dangers to the world economy and financial markets. To combat the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, India, like many other countries around the world, has implemented nationwide lockdown, limiting population movement, shutting down public places & transportation, and advising citizens to stay indoors, maintain social distance, and work from home. The ensuing economic disruption is massive, with a significant short-term drop-in activity for both large and small firms.

The COVID-19 pandemic's negative impacts were affecting various sectors of the Indian economy, with manufacturing, auto, retail, aviation, and hospitality suffering the brunt of the shutdown. As a result, fast-growing digital payments, which are intimately related to the aforementioned sectors, have suffered during this period. Shuttered stores, travel prohibitions, and lower discretionary consumer spending (on dineout, movies, and entertainment, for example) were all hurting digital payments. Airlines, tourism, hospitality, hotels, entertainment, e-Commerce (non-essentials), and restaurants, among other industries, had witnessed reductions in digital payment volume. Furthermore, due to the temporary closure of borders, cross-border payments, whether B2B or C2B, have considerably
decreased, resulting in limited commodities movement. International remittances have also been impacted, and they have decreased.

However, certain locations are witnessing a surge in digital payments as a result of greater use during the shutdown. Online grocery shops, pharmacies, OTT players (telecom and media), EdTechs, online gaming, recharges, and utility/bill payments are just a few examples. The government, which has promised monetary aid to the needy via direct payments to bank accounts, is also helping to raise digital payment volumes. Payment systems have shown to be trustworthy and long-lasting, and the general public continues to have a high level of trust in them. However, the lockout and the shutdown of companies have resulted in decreased total transaction volumes. Through various measures, the government has pushed consumers to utilize digital payments more frequently to eliminate the need for cash. In modern times, digital payments, which were once a convenience, have become a requirement. It is currently too early to determine the long-term impact of COVID-19 on digital payments because the bulk of the industries that contribute to digital payments are still in flux.

Thanks to pandemic, not only are firms trying to acquire consumers, but the customers have started to understand how important it is to have a digital alternative of payment when shopping


Future of Digital Payment!
Covid-19 sped-up India's use of digital payments. A cash allocation of Rs.1,500 crore was announced in the recent Union Budget to support digital payments. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stated that it is accepting applications for New Umbrella Entities and intends to issue the license to develop the retail payment industry.

With fast-growing digital payments in India, fraudulent activities such as Phishing, vishing, hacking, social engineering, and others, are also increasing. Improving cybersecurity for safe and encrypted digital payments would make it financially independent, especially for those marginalized groups who cannot afford any instances of fraud. Enhanced cybersecurity to allow safe digital payments can reduce technology faults and failures substantially and eventually optimize the time, cost and workload needed to resolve failures. In addition, secure systems can also simply track each transaction, providing further security and enabling criminals to manipulate payment gateways. Today's digital payment techniques are so effective that within minutes, they are completed. Biometric security and digital identities helped increase payment securities to enhance consumer comfort, but there is still a lot to do to ensure full proof security. The inclusions of advanced infrastructure technologies will assist build a smooth and secure digital payments environment.

In conclusion, the demand for improved cybersecurity for digital payment is likewise rising with the advancement of technology. Since digital payment advantages exceed the risks, it has become necessary for the government to develop a highly secure and efficient digital payment environment. With the government pushing individuals to switch from cash to digital payments in the face of a pandemic, Fintech players and the Government are anticipated to improve the sector and make it an inseparable feature of our lives.

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