It’s has been just over a year since PM Modi announced demonetisation and India has already gone leaps and bounds towards embracing a digitally centralised economic and social lifestyle. Since the introduction of a cashless ecosystem, there have been numerous reforms that showcase expansive digital development. While there is no denying that the country is still very dependent of a cash system for everyday use, progress towards a digital currency and even more so a sovereign digital currency is possible if certain steps are taken to fully implement digital payment procedures. Here are just some of the ways in which India’s cashless economy can thrive and ultimately become digitally savvy.
A consumer-centric retail industry
One of the earliest adopters of digital currency was the retail industry. The rise of e-commerce prompted the industry to shift to a more convenient shopping experience where consumers are invited to shop while sitting at home. Payments were done via the input of card details. Today’s retail scenario is so much more advanced, to the point where retailers have to find unique methods of convincing consumers to purchase their products. With smartphones becoming the centre of all things digital, retailers need to rethink their sales strategy and focus on a more consumer-centric approach. In the case of payments, e-commerce is syncing with social media platforms to allow for a one-stop shopping experience that can be customized based on the consumer’s preferences.
Implementation of big data analytics
One of the biggest challenges of sustaining a digital-only ecosystem is being able to gather a large amount of user data that is synced to payment procedures and other digital operations. The implementation of big data analytic systems could provide the best solution to this, as it allows for the seamless processing of huge chunks of user data with minimalistic to zero errors. Big data systems will prove to be very useful in the banking and finance industry if digital currency becomes a mainstay. The implementation is already showing promising signs in the case of Bitcoin currency, and if proven to be secure, will pave the way for a digitally sovereign currency system.
Single source for all digital needs
To make Indians digitally savvy, especially in the economic front, the government began mandating the use of Aadhaar Cards. The card serves as a social security number through which all personal and financial data can be accessed. A lot of measures are being undertaken to implement Aadhaar into various aspects of personal and legal data, and if the process goes smoothly, it may very well drive digital currency to the centre of everyday living.
A digital-friendly infrastructure
Having personal platforms that encourage digital transactions isn’t enough; the government must take advanced steps to build an infrastructure that supports and promotes digital transactions. The expanded use of POS systems is a welcome indication of that, and there is also talk of introducing contactless payments across public commuting points (a feature that is up and running in the Delhi metro). The use of wearable payment technology is also in the developmental stage, which showcases great improvements to making every need of people easier to manage.
Increased awareness of cybersecurity measures
Cybercrime is a plague to the digital economy, but the country can only learn and improve over every threat that arises to digital security. The Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology has partnered with Google to launch the Digital Payment Security Alliance- a move to promote security measures in digital payments. This initiative is the stepping stone to a more secure method of paying, that could ultimately give consumers more hope and an increased trust factor with digital payment systems.
Can India truly transform into a digitally sovereign currency system, the answer to that question depends on just how well digital technology is adapted into and used by the young generation of Indians. There are promising signs that this may happen, and once it does, the country could stand on its own two feet over a very strong economic and social digital background.